By Lyle Hillyard
Utah State Senator, District 25
I thought I might share a few thoughts before last week's holiday completely fades into memory. Memorial Day has special meaning for me.
First, when I was in law school, I always had to study over the holiday to get ready for finals. There were never any quizzes, and my future depended on that final 4 hour exam. I vowed then that I would never do legal work on Memorial Day again, but instead use it for a day of relaxing and decorating graves.
Second, we always raised and cut our own flowers and carefully spent the day delivering to graveyards from Smithfield to Logan to Brigham City. Memorial Day was the 30th of May then, and only occasionally fell on a weekend. The day was a special time to see cousins and family and talk about the people whose graves we spent time decorating.
Now we spend Saturdays in Smithfield with the Hillyards. We all meet at 11:00 a.m. and have a good chance to catch up on what is happening. Other than funerals, it is the only time I see many friends who live quite some distance away. Mondays are spent with my wife's family doing much the same, but I have noticed something the last few years. While the old timers still come, I do not see very many children come with their parents. Maybe that's because it's a weekend holiday and other things seem more important.
As I think about it, I notice that my two brothers married girls from Richmond and Smithfield and my sister married a boy from Lewiston. I had the bravery to marry a girl from the big city of Logan. But when I think of my four married children... one is married to a boy raised in California, one married to a boy raised in Wyoming, one married to a boy raised in Idaho and one married to a girl raised in Washington. Two of them are in Japan and two are in California.
I wonder if any one will even have time to decorate our graves on Memorial Days in the future. I have a son-in-law who is serving in the military as a Chaplin. My brother served in the army. What can I do to instill in my children's lives a commitment to the remembrance of the men and women who gave their lives in defense of this country, and an appreciation of their ancestors who gave up much and made our heritage so rich? Maybe some one out there can offer suggestions?