I had a 3-day weekend, and today I had a little ritual to remember my dead, especially those who served in the military. I have ancestors who served in the Revolutionary War, Civil War (Union side), World War I, the Korean War era, and the Cuban missile crisis era. I like the prayer given in Galina Krasskova and Raven Kaldera’s book, Exploring the Northern Tradition. When I recite this prayer, I call the names of my ancestors as much as I know them, including family pets. I face bookshelves that double as an altar, and look at the mementos I’ve kept (Frodo’s collar, a sympathy card I got from Frodo’s vet’s practice, a keepsake that my Aunt Carol made to honor Frodo, the imprint made from one of Frodo’s paws after he passed away, letters from my Grandma Ledo, and lists of ancestors, among other things).
I remembered my Grandma Ledo (Grandma Osenbaugh) today because she told me about Decoration Day, which is what Memorial Day was called until the 1960s. It was celebrated on May 30 every year, regardless of the day of the week it fell on.