Sunday, May 26, 2013

Decoration Day

Memorial Day has come to mean the official start of summer season with backyard barbeques, outdoor activities and three days off from work and school. But for many Globeville families, churches and fraternal orders, the day was once centered around family, ceremony, honor and remembering the dead. Lydia Heck recalled, "Years ago when we were kids, on Memorial Day — and they didn’t call it Memorial Day — they called it Decoration Day — we would take our lunch and go over to Riverside Cemetery. A lot of our family, my folks and my husband's folks, are buried there." Lydia's sister, Pauline Rodie continued, "It was like a family reunion. People would gather, pray, reminisce, clean the graves and plant flowers. We young folks would hear stories about our ancestors. It was real nice."  The day might also include military bands, orators and political speeches in ceremonies honoring the many servicemen interred at Riverside.  
Many of Globeville's Catholic families would visit their relatives at Mt. Olivet Cemetery. June Jackson remembers going with her father and the Knights of Columbus. "While they were praying, I would walk around the monuments and gravestones. Then we would visit our family members and lay wreaths on the graves. It's what people did those days." 
Before heading into a busy summer filled with activities, families might might schedule an outing that included a visit with and reminiscences about those who came before us.

Family members are still remembered at Riverside Cemetery

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