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Memorial Day Tradition Started In The South

by Charles Cooper

Hello everyone, I hope you are having a good week.  I am sorry that I couldn’t get to Water Valley for Memorial Day; I think it is one of our most important national holidays. 

As you know, the tradition started in the South and originally was called Decoration Day.  They decorated the graves of Confederate and Union dead.  There is a row of unknown Union dead in Oak Hill and I have also felt that it was fitting that flags be on their graves as well since they were American soldiers. 

Water Valley has always has a proud heritage of citizens who served their country honorably. Our World War II veterans are leaving us in great numbers since they are all in their 80s and 90s. 

Even the Korean vets average age is 70 – vets are aging fast.  A special salute to the ones I know  personally – Chester Joyner, Crip Tyler, Taylor Williamson, Dudley Kelley, Wade Doolin, and Eddie Nelson.

Having said this, I’d like to enter some personal events. 

Jamie, my son, visited from Portland, Oregon and my in-laws, Edward and Virginia, invited all of us to spend some time on Sardis Lake.  They had rented a double cabin on the lake and them we went out several times in their pontoon boat. 

We saw several eagles and at least a half-dozen nests and it was an impressive sight.  I hadn’t been to Sardis in many years and I hardly recognized it.  We took the boat up to the restaurant and enjoyed a great fish dinner. 

I hope we can do it again as it was really enjoyable.  Last week was really Elizabeth’s as it was her graduation.  I’d like to address this to Elizabeth, my daughter. 

You don’t know the feeling of pride as we watched you march up to accept your diploma. 

It seems like only yesterday that I held this little newborn blonde baby in my arms for the first time.  Then there was day care, kindergarten, and that first day of regular school.  There were PTA meetings discussing your progress with your teachers. 

Next was junior high, when you went into band.  Then high school and band trips, band camp, and the concerts and playing for the ball games were a lot of fun.

You took an active part in your church youth group, and how proud you were when you were chosen as feature editor of the school paper.  We remember the tremendous pride we all felt when six of you were chosen with other band members across the state to make a trip to Hawaii last  July.     

You are entering a new phase of your life, college, part-time jobs and being on your own for the first time.  The pride we all feel of your accomplishments and a little sadness when we realize that our little girl is now a grown up young lady with, what we hope, will be a bright and happy future.

Rest assured that in every endeavor we will be behind you and remember, we love you dearly. 

On Saturday we took Jamie to the airport and assured him that we would all be with him when he and Nicole marry in September. 

I’m hearing from singing friends that the high gas prices are hurting the attendance. Many  of the singers are seniors and unless they are in a car pool, the cost is too much for the long trips that we have to make these days to attend the conventions.  Let me hear from you as I always try to include your input in the column. 

My email address is or write me at P.O. Box 613189 Memphis, Tn 38101 and have a great week.

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