Memorial Day

Written by David Green.

Take the time to remember

When was the last time a really large crowd showed up at Morenci’s Oak Grove Cemetery on Memorial Day morning? It probably happens about as often as a member of the marching band faints from the heat, and it’s been a long time since that occurred.

Lots of people line the streets to watch the flags and fire trucks, the band, the Boy Scouts and the decorated bicycles go by. But that’s not what Memorial Day is about, and few of the watchers make the trek to the cemetery where the solemn service takes place.

Is Memorial Day only for veterans? Of course not. They’re honoring fallen comrades, but that doesn’t shut out those who didn’t serve. It’s not a salute to war; it’s the commemoration of those who died in service to their country.

Many of those who scratch their heads over the poor showing at the Memorial Day service point back to Congressional action taken in 1971. It was then that Memorial Day lost its May 30 designation and instead became part of a three-day weekend.

For many people, a walk or drive to the cemetery has become an inconvenience to weekend plans. Think about the flags on tombstones in cemeteries across the nation and realize that thousands of them died while in military service.

That’s why we need to pause for remembrance on Memorial Day.

– David Green, May 24, 2006

  • Shadow.salon
    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.carry.casket
    CARRYING—Riley Terry (blue jacket) and Mason Vaughn lead the way, carrying an empty casket outside to the hearse waiting at the curb. Morenci juniors and seniors visited Eagle Funeral Home last week to learn about the role of a funeral director and to understand the process of arranging for a funeral.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.

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