Photos: Flags & Flowers at Decatur Cemetery for Memorial Day

Chris sent along a few photos from this year’s placement of flowers and flags on graves for Memorial Day.

And here’s a poem to commemorate the day, courtesy of The Poetry Foundation

Memorial Day
It is easily forgotten, year to
year, exactly where the plot is,
though the place is entirely familiar—
a willow tree by a curving roadway
sweeping black asphalt with tender leaves;
damp grass strewn with flower boxes,
canvas chairs, darkskinned old ladies
circling in draped black crepe family stones,
fingers cramped red at the knuckles, discolored
nails, fresh soil for new plants, old rosaries;
such fingers kneading the damp earth gently down
on new roots, black humus caught in grey hair
brushed back, and the single waterfaucet,
birdlike upon its grey pipe stem,
a stream opening at its foot.
We know the stories that are told,
by starts and stops, by bent men at strange joy
regarding the precise enactments of their own
gesturing. And among the women there will be
a naming of families, a counting off, an ordering.
The morning may be brilliant; the season
is one of brilliances—sunlight through
the fountained willow behind us, its splayed
shadow spreading westward, our shadows westward,
irregular across damp grass, the close-set stones.
It may be that since our walk there is faltering,
moving in careful steps around snow-on-the-mountain,
bluebells and zebragrass toward that place
between the willow and the waterfaucet, the way
is lost, that we have no practiced step there,
and walking, our own sway and balance, fails us.
More photos after the jump.

Continue reading “Photos: Flags & Flowers at Decatur Cemetery for Memorial Day”

Help Place Flags at Decatur Cemetery For Memorial Day

From Chris…

If you would like to help place flags and/or flowers on the graves or memorials in the Decatur Cemetery for those who were killed while serving in the military as part of your Memorial Day Weekend activities, please contact Chris Billingsley at [email protected] OR you can show up for any of the following:

  • Thursday, May 25, 5:00 P.M.  Place Flags On Graves- Meet at the Veteran’s Rock in the new cemetery (enter Church Street gate and drive to area above pond).
  • Sunday, May 28, 4:00 P.M. Place Flowers On Graves- Meet at same location described above, Veteran’s Rock.
  • Monday, May 29, 5:00 P.M.- Brief Remembrance Ceremony.  Afterwards we will pick up all flags and flowers from graves.

Photo courtesy of Chris

Decatur Residents Honor Those Lost in Military Service This Memorial Day

springfield grave

Decatur residents, led by long-time resident Chris Billingsley, placed flowers on the Decatur cemetery graves of those lost in military service over the weekend.

Above, CSD student Ford Parler places a flower on the grave of Lt. Robert Springfield, who’s story of service only recently resurfaced thanks in part to the marvels of 21st century technology.  Chris explained in a comment last week…

Last year, I mentioned in a post that the grave of Robert Springfield, a pilot who was killed on a training flight in New Mexico and later buried in the City of Decatur cemetery, could not be found. Six months ago, I heard from Springfield’s great nephew who read my post on Decatur Metro and described where Springfield was buried. He sent me pictures of Springfield and other crew members including this account from Bobby Lee Silliman who edits the Carlsbad Airfield Facebook page, “I know a lady in her nineties who served at C.A.A.F as a WAC during WW2 ( she lives in Youngstown Ohio ), and she tells me that she recalls that horrible accident and how a hush fell over the air base out of respect for all who perished in it”. Springfield’s gravesite is located near many of his DHS classmates who were killed while serving during World War II.

Screen Shot 2016-05-30 at 3.04.00 PMSpringfield’s great nephew Jones Fowler followed up with a note to us and sent a report of Springfield’s service in he had pieced together over the last year. He writes…

Thank you very much for remembering my relative on this Memorial Day. Robert Springfield was my father’s aunt’s first husband. Early on in World World II he joined the Army Air Corps and was sent to Carlsbad, New Mexico for training to become an aircrew member on a B-24 Bomber. Unfortunately on a stormy night he and his training crew of 4 others were killed in a plane crash. Dad’s aunt Dot got remarried and never spoke a word about him ever again. Honestly I think his memory would have been lost forever had I not found a medal that was inconsistent with my grandfather’s service as a pilot. Given that medal, largely with the help of Chris last year I was able to dig up and string together the report attached. I am very happy that we have found out his story and amazed at the honor you all have shown him. I will certainly visit the grave the next time I’m in Atlanta.

Thank you to Lt. Springfield and all those lost in service to our country.

Cemetery photo courtesy of Chris – used with Parler’s father’s permission.  

Photo of Lt. Springfield courtesy of Jones Fowler

Remember Those Who Died For Our Country at Decatur Cemetery This Weekend

jackson grave

Chris writes in…

If you would like to help place flags and/or flowers on the graves or memorials in the Decatur Cemetery for those who were killed while serving in the military as part of your Memorial Day Weekend activities, please contact Chris Billingsley at [email protected]. You can also show up for any of the following:

Thursday, May 26, 6:00 P.M. Place Flags On Graves- Meet at the Veteran’s Rock in the new cemetery (enter Church Street gate).
Sunday, May 29, 6:00 P.M. Place Flowers On Graves- Meet at same location described above, Veteran’s Rock.
Monday, May 30, 5:00 P.M.- Brief Remembrance Ceremony. Afterwards we will pick up all flags and flowers from graves.

Memorial Day in Decatur

rock

Decatur Veteran’s Rock photo courtesy of Chris

Like Brothers We Meet

George Moses Horton

Like heart-loving brothers we meet,
    And still the loud thunders of strife,
The blaze of fraternity kindles most sweet,
    There’s nothing more pleasing in life.

Volunteers and DHS Students Honor Vets For Memorial Day

Chris writes in…

Several volunteers, including two Decatur High School students, were able to place flags and flowers on the graves of all the military dead in the Decatur Cemetery (all that we have identified.  I’m sure there are many more.  Maybe next year).  The plan is to pick up the flags and flowers tomorrow/Monday at 7:00P.M. after the playing of Amazing Grace (or something appropriate) by Mr. Henry Frantz on the bagpipes.  Anyone who would like to volunteer should meet at the Veteran’s rock (Church St. Entrance) Monday at 6:00.  Please contact Chris Billingsley at [email protected] for more info.