THESE HONORED DEAD

The cemetery is in the center of the town, across from the dam and just a hundred or so yards from the river itself. It’s up on a hill, so it never floods, even when the rivers rush over their banks. The people who created that cemetery knew about the rivers. And flooding. They picked a beautiful spot, but dry and safe for the bones and memories.

Downtown Revolutionary War Cemetery Uxbridge BW

An old cemetery, dating back to the late 1600s. It contains traces of many generations of those who lived and died in this town, this valley. Folks who lived along the Blackstone and its many tributaries, fished in its lakes and streams. They fought in our wars and are buried here. Revolutionary War soldiers. Civil War veterans. And those who fought in all American wars since.

1707

Every Veteran’s Day, the cemetery blooms with bouquets and flags. The schools bring the children here, so they will remember and traditions will be continued. They bring bouquets of wild flowers or flowers from their garden and always a miniature American flag. Even if there’s no special holiday, the cemetery always shows signs of caring, remembering. Maybe it’s easier to remember here, with such a small population. Is that it? Or it’s just part of the air, the character, the history. Remembering is what we do in the Valley.

The cemetery is a favorite place. We’re newcomers after all, only living here 21 years. Our ancestors — Garry’s and mine — come from Sligo, Antigua, Minsk, Bialystok. We came from tiny villages in Ireland and the West Indies as well as the shtetls of eastern Europe.

Valley people have been here longer. Many came from French Canada in the late 19th century to work in the mills. Another large group formed the dominant Dutch population. They built churches, businesses and factories, dairy and truck farms, shops, horse farms and sawmills. Their names are prominent wherever the rivers run.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The valley is the only place I’ve lived where the majority of families have lived in the town or in nearby villages for three, four, five generations. “We’ve always lived in the Valley,” they say, meaning as long as anyone can remember. They get misty-eyed trying to remember old family stories handed down when they were young. Hard to remember, they tell you. “You know, that was 75 years ago, a very long time.”

We nod, because it was a long time ago. These days, I not only sympathize. I commiserate. I have trouble remembering details of events from childhood, events I was sure I would never forget. Some things stand out better than others, though.

Garry, my Marine, considers this a very special day. Yes, I know. There are no former Marines. A Marine is always a Marine.

So another year passes and little flags and flowers bloom in the old cemetery in the middle of town.



Categories: American history, Blackstone Valley, History, Holidays, Uxbridge

Tags: , , , , , ,

9 replies

  1. Your valley sounds like quite a special place to live, thank you for sharing it with us

    Liked by 1 person

    • The valley is beautiful. It is more than a little stuck in the mid 1950s, but we live for the day the people who run our little towns will wake up from their long sleep and realize we need some basics places to buy things (how about a hardware store?) — and maybe a few modest restaurants and an ISP with functional servers! And oh please, public transportation of some kind — even a mini-bus that runs up the road and into town. Use an old school bus. I don’t care. Just some way other than driving.

      On the up side, it’s beautiful. Even the not as beautiful places are unique and interesting.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. A very moving post Marilyn

    Liked by 1 person

Talk to me!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Light Motifs II

Paula Light's Writing Site | The Classic Edition

Soul N Spirit

Seeking happiness in the psalms of life……

Touring My Backyard

Rediscovering Singapore

Our Eyes Open

Come along on an adventure with us!

Travel with me

Travel snapshots from Toonsarah

Thoughts & Theories

My Personal Rants, Ravings, & Ruminations

France & Vincent

Writing Magic, Myth and Mystery

Barb Taub

Writing & Coffee. Especially coffee.

This, That, and The Other

Random musings on life, society, and politics.

Keep it alive

A look at life, achieving good physical and mental health and happiness

Covert Novelist

Light Hearted Mysteries

Salted Caramel

Blogging, Motivation, Lifestyle and much more.

Sarah's Attic Of Treasures

Making My Home A Haven is important to me. Sharing homemaking skills. Recipes and food. Bible Studies. This is a treasure chest of goodies. So take a seat. Have a glass of tea and enjoy. You will learn all about who I am.

Green Screen

The Environmental Movie Podcast

bushboys world

Photos of my world and other stuff I hope you will enjoy too. Photos taken with Canon PowershotSX70HS Photos can be purchased.

musingsofanoldfart

Independent views from someone who offers some historical context

My Blog

Just another WordPress.com site

National Day Calendar

Fun, unusual and forgotten designations on our calendar.

Cee's Photo Challenges

Teaching the art of composition for photography.

Trent's World (the Blog)

Random Ramblings and Reviews from Trent P. McDonald

Views from the Edge

To See More Clearly

serial monography: forgottenman's ruminations

wandering discourse, pedantic rant, self-indulgent drivel, languorous polemic, grammarian's bête noire, poesy encroachment approaching bombast, unintended subtext in otherwise intentional context, unorthodox unorthodoxy, self-inflected rodomontade, …

draliman on life

Because sometimes life just makes you stop and think

The English Professor at Large

Posts about old Hollywood, current concerns

Sparks From A Combustible Mind

EMBERS FROM SOMEONE DOGGEDLY TRYING TO MAKE SENSE OF IT ALL...

THE SHINBONE STAR

NO LONGER ENCUMBERED BY ANY SENSE OF FAIR PLAY, EX-JOURNALISTS RETURN TO ACTIVE DUTY TO FIGHT THE TRUMPIAN MENACE!

Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss

Welcome to the Anglo Swiss World

ScienceSwitch

Your Source For The Coolest Science Stories

%d bloggers like this: