Does anyone remember when this holiday was fondly called Decoration Day? You’d most likely need to be over 55 to have a first hand memory of that. When I was a child Decoration Day was a holiday of remembrance of our deceased war veterans and we would decorate their graves in memory of their service and sacrifice. And there would always be a parade where living veterans and active servicemen would march in honor of their fallen comrades.
I have fond memories of attending the Decoration Day parade with my dad every year. We would watch as the representatives of the different service branches passed us by. Of course we would all be holding small American flags or wearing a bright red paper poppy in our labels or attached to our buttons. Children would watch with solemn faces as their parents explained the meaning behind the parade and why we honored those who had fallen.
My family has produced many who served during World War II – my uncles John Garbien, Mitchell Garbien, Joseph Garbien, Tony Stobierski, and Henry Rusbarsky. My own dad – Henry R. Garbien – is my personal hero. Not only did he earn a Purple Heart for bravery under fire but he managed to come back home in one piece. (All my uncles returned home as well.)
Here are several photos of my dad back during that era. In honor of my Dad and my uncles and all those of served our country –
Happy Memorial Day!