Memorial Day is an American holiday, observed on the last Monday of May, honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Originally known as Decoration Day, this observance originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and participating in parades.
Springfield Masonic Community (SMC) is no exception. On the Friday before Memorial Day, a group of community members gathers at the cemetery to place flags on the graves of veterans who lived on the campus. Jerry Ingram keeps track of those who have passed in the last year and adds those veterans to the list of those gone before. When asked why he handles this project, he humbly says, “It needs to be done.”
As everyone arrived at the cemetery, Dan Shirk led the group in a very meaningful prayer to those who gave their lives so we can continue to have the freedoms that we enjoy each day. Everyone divided into pairs, took a bundle of American flags and a map showing the location of the veterans graves and began placing the flags. Rollie Wilson was here for the 2nd year. When asked why you are here, Rollie shared, “We are doing the right thing.”
As Memorial Day 2021 has come and gone, the flags will remain on the veteran’s graves for another week, but their patriotism and service to our country will remain in our hearts forever. The flags will be put away and sadly the list of veterans will continue to grow. This small group of SMC community members will return in 2022 to make sure these veterans will always be honored.