I would like to share a little hometown history with you today. I grew up in rural Tennessee and Decoration Day was, and still is, a pretty big deal in Bethel Springs TN, let me tell you. That was the day we all went to the cemetery with flowers to adorn the graves and pay our respects.
The above video by The Drive By Truckers, is related to a cemetery in Alabama, but the pictures of the families in it are very much like the ones in my hometown, and most likely any other southern town that celebrates Decoration Day.
This is not a tradition that is only in Tennessee. Other southern states do this as well. Over the years the details have changed for many churches and cemeteries, but the intent is still the same, to honor our loved ones and pay our respects. This, along with most everything else in the south, is made even more special when you add delicious food! That is something that is in ample supply, along with beautiful flowers, some fresh picked just for the occasion and many prepared by florists, and some just simple little sprays or individual ones stuck in the dirt. By the end of the day, it is a beautiful site. There are always some graves that don't get new flowers, so the kids sometimes place flowers on as many of them as possible, especially the really old ones that aren't traceable to anyone there.
I know this may sound strange to a lot of you, but it really is a wonderful event. To see the pride in the elderly folks faces, along with a hint of sadness, because each year the crowd gets smaller, and the food table gets a little more sparse. There are buckets of store bought chicken, tubs of deli potato salad and store bought barbecue (although it is the best place to get BBQ in the state) it isn't quite as grand as it used to be. That is due in large part to people being scattered around, generations dying out, or relocating, moving for jobs and everybody is so busy these days they can't make the event. Our society has, and continues to change. Unfortunately, so do these time honored traditions.
In honor of my family, those still living, and mostly those who are no longer here on earth, I wish to pay tribute to them with my little piece of history here on my blog. I hope you enjoy it. There will be recipes, of course, and pictures of the beautiful history. I hope you enjoy this. It is part of my history and present.I know that one day, Decoration Day will probably no longer be in existence, but until then, this is what is all about...history, brought to you in a fashion that we in the modern world take for granted, through the internet. Here for generations in the future to see if they so choose. Enjoy!