Memorial Day 2008
On Saturday, mj and I went to the Fort Bliss National cemetery in advance of Monday's ceremonies. While routinely go to visit and check on the condition of both the graves of my uncle and in-laws and the entire cemetery, we went Saturday in order to see if the various civic groups were able to plant the tens of thousands of American flags into the now hard and gravel crusted ground--Memorial Day patriotic salute to those buried at the cemetery. What we saw was an attempt at something that had obviously outlived its environment as a high percentage of the flags stuck in the ground early Saturday morning had fallen onto the dust by that afternoon. Maybe stands could be made for them next year.
Overall, the flags' wooden dowels are no longer suitable for the cemetery's new "xeriscaped" environment. Perhaps the Boy Scouts or other civil minded groups will fashion stands for the flags so they don't immediately fall onto the dust and rocks next year. Overall, however, those flags standing were interesting and pleasant sounding as they waved in the wind. Together we spent about 45 minutes attempting to stick/bury/stand fallen flags into the ground again, and saw how easily the flags had once been placed into what had once been a grassy ground cover. Dirt on the flag's masts showed how far into the ground they had once been placed, which was between 3-5 inches; whereas now, we were lucky to get them an inch into the ground.
Sadly, we also saw many more large spaces had been prepared for more graves. It does not seem to end.