May 23, 2012 - Memorial Day is our American Day.
Our day to remember, pay tribute, honor and salute those who have raised us, helped us, fought and died for us.
Small towns like ours seem especially earnest and willing to participate in this observance.
I haven't missed many Memorial Day dedications, speeches, and parades in my many years in small town newspapering.
They give me added reasons to talk patriotism and feel the red, white and blue in my spirit.
I'm so very proud to be an American. John Phillips Sousa's music thrills me, color guards passing by give me chills, men in uniforms of various services add to my feelings.
The look on people's faces on Memorial Day is different from any other day of the year. Their reverence, respect and dignity shows.
This feeling was initiated, I think, when I marched with a few thousand other sailors in a parade at Great Lakes Naval Training Station in 1944.
We were all so militarily perfect: Heads back, uniform stepping, arms swinging, chests out.
This pride and patriotism strengthens with passing time. I'm more aware of more things that have been accomplished in the United States by fellow citizens.
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We learned the Gettysburg Address and Preamble to the Constitution in a 1-room school in rural Michigan.
Many years later, standing before the statue of President Lincoln, I found I could still recite the words he spoke in the 1860s while following the scultped words on the memorial.
When you're at a park's or cemetery's Memorial services be sure to look around at the tikes waving their small flags, and older kids riding their decorated bikes. It's a feel-good thing.
And, stick around for the playing of Taps, lowering of the flag and prayer. Solemn and satisfying.
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Large numbers of people use Memorial Day to visit cemeteries for their loved ones. They will see lots of American flags stuck in the ground next to headstones of deceased service people.
Veterans organizations with the assistance or others like, the Young Marines, plant these flags.
There are six cemeteries in Oxford and Addison Townships. The Oxford American Legion Post has ordered 600 for placement this Memorial Day.
We've been in a lot of wars, but 600 still sounds like too many lost service people.
Memorial Day, is, of course, just that… a day for remembering Mom, Dad, family, friends and others who are no longer with us.
We mourn and try to remember all we can of those who lived in our land under God of the people, by the people and for the people.
Jim Sherman, Sr. is president of Sherman Publications, Inc. He has penned "Jim's Jottings" since 1955.