Rest, comrades, rest, sleep.
Yours, the suffering been. Ours,
shall be memory .
Sleep, comrades, sleep and rest
On this Field of the Grounded Arms,
Where foes no more molest,
Nor sentry’s shot alarms!
Ye have slept on the ground before,
And started to your feet
At the cannon’s sudden roar,
Or the drum’s redoubling beat.
But in this camp of Death
No sound your slumber breaks;
Here is no fevered breath,
No wound that bleeds and aches.
All is repose and peace,
Untrampled lies the sod;
The shouts of battle cease,
It is the Truce of God!
Rest, comrades, rest and sleep!
The thoughts of men shall be
As sentinels to keep
Your rest from danger free.
Your silent tents of green
We deck with fragrant flowers
Yours has the suffering been,
The memory shall be ours.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
When I was a kid, Decoration Day or Memorial Day was May 30th.
My Grandpa Hendricson would pick my Hendrickson cousins on the south end of Grand Rapids and then drive to the North End and pick up the Hoffman’s and take us to the Memorial Day Parade in downtown Grand Rapids.
Off to the John Ball Park Zoo after the parade and then to Grandma’s house on Elliot St. and pick up Grandma Hendrickson and pots pans of Chili and Goulash, wrapped in newspaper and tied up with string.
With about 10 kids, Grandpa and Grandma in the car, Grandpa drove over to Aunt Wanda’s or Aunt Joan’s house for the family picnic.
It was a great day to be a kid.