Welcome. Edgartown News was born from the simple fact that I have ink and Dektol in my veins and I need to write and photograph more than I need air or food, and from my love for this little town where I grew up and raised my family, the town I have left a few times but can't quite shake for good. Here you will find wanderings and musings, photographs and commentary; the people, places, and happenings - past and present - of a small island town: my home town.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Memorial Day in Edgartown



Memorial Day



Rushing out of a local shop yesterday, I blurted, "Happy Memorial Day." Before the last word was out of my mouth I realized that the word happy does not belong in that sentence. But what is the appropriate greeting on this day, a day that has been set aside, officially since 1873, as a day to remember our war dead?

The only appropriate greeting, I suppose, would be no greeting.

When I was a little girl my mother passed down the custom of visiting the cemetery on Memorial Day, a custom I did not so strongly instill in my own children, I'm sorry to have to admit; and there was the annual march down to the town wharf where we school kids tossed our lilacs into the harbor (a tradition that continues today), the meaning of which we would not understand until many years later.

I know there was a parade and a picnic in Vineyard Haven yesterday, but we don't really have a national, collective observance of this holiday, to the point that Memorial Day has become just another shopping and party day and summer's kick-off weekend. In my case, it was a work day.

I like the way Israel celebrates its Memorial Day - Yom Hazikaron. There is a minute-long siren blast that is heard all over the country. At the sound of the siren, everyone and everything comes to a standstill - even traffic stops in the middle of the highways, and everyone stands in silence, collectively remembering and showing respect to all of Israel's fallen soldiers.

I couldn't find my flag, I failed to get it together to put a pot of geraniums (the tradition in my family) onto the family graves, nor did I make it to Vineyard Haven for the parade. I offer these photos as my moment of silence.

Thank you.

Memorial Day in Edgartown





Memorial Day in Edgartown





Memorial Day in Edgartown





Memorial Day in Edgartown





Memorial Day in Edgartown





Memorial Day in Edgartown
The most beautiful grave stone in the cemetery.
This huge chunk of rose quartz marks the graves of my grandparents, Herbert Melville Boylston and Mabel Shurtleff Boylston, and my mother, Alison Williams Boylston Piazza. My grandmother had this pink boulder shipped down from a quarry in New Hampshire when my grandfather died in 1939.




Memorial Day in Edgartown





Memorial Day in Edgartown





Memorial Day in Edgartown





Memorial Day in Edgartown

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