Bob Mitchell: Memorial Day, a time for remembrance

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Monday is, in my way of thinking, a highly important holiday that needs to be observed with a taste of reverence as we remember those who have made a supreme sacrifice for their country and those who served their time in the Armed Forces and are now deceased.

We will be observing Memorial Day by remembering family and friends who are no longer with us by placing floral pieces on graves throughout the region.

Flags mark veterans

For Armed Forces veterans of all the wars that have plagued the nation, grave flags, either available through organizations or procured by individuals, will be placed as the headstones of these individuals.

Looking over any cemetery in the county, you can see there is plenty of evidence that manpower for war, whatever the conflict, was provided by Barry County’s sons in adequate numbers.

Visited two in Korea

When two from this county fell in the Korean War, I happened to be close to the primary burial area and thought it would be a good idea to visit and photograph the graves for family members.

Records were not all that complete at the time, but with some help, the graves were located and photographed.

The Army personnel involved, losing their lives in the early, dark days of the Korean War, were Lt. Burl Baker and Ralph Ozbun.

In a bad stroke of luck, something happened to the self-loaded .35 mm film and the photos were lost and I never got back to the location.

Another local loss in Korea was Dub Hutton, a Navy medic attached to the First Marine Division. He was the son of the first health nurse in Barry County, Dorothy Hutton.

With his mother’s permission, the Cassville Democrat did a layout of his funeral and burial in Oak Hill Cemetery.

Remember someone

Each and everyone of us is either acquainted with someone who has served in the Armed Forces and now lies in rest in one of the many burial sites in the county. It would be good if today’s residents would make sure those who served their country, either in time of conflict or not, receive the proper recognition on this Memorial Day.

Normally, if you see those without proper grave flags when visiting Oak Hill in Cassville, will find a small supply of the American Flags at the registration desk at the entry before and during the holiday. These flags in the past were provided by Irwin-Easley American Legion Post of Cassville.

For the holiday

During the complete holiday there will be family gatherings and outings throughout the region with a special reminder to use caution while enjoying the first such time-off of the warm season.

Both on holiday highway traffic, activities on the waters of the area, or whatever your group might decide, caution should be uppermost in the minds of the group.

Display the flag

A Memorial Day must, wherever possible, residences and businesses should proudly display the flag of the United States of America this special holiday.

It could well be a most appropriate time for one to show their respect for the American Flag but also to the Constitutional Government for which it stands. These United States have been around 243 years, surviving the existence of very serious problems, perhaps nothing as serious as is existing today.

People should realize we are living in different times, previously unknown for this government. There are dangers lurking beyond the greatest expectations of many of our lifetimes, with this Memorial Day, there is no better time to reassess what we want our country to be or not to become.

To lighter subjects

Since it is now past Mother’s Day, it would be safe to start putting whatever your choice might be in the ground. That’s the safe time always pointed toward by gardeners of the past.

In the fishing department, on the hard thinking of a lot of anglers these days, recent rains have most lake waters on at least the murky side, which is on the side of the spawning bass. This action by Mother Nature will prohibit “sight fishing” where some anglers scout shorelines to locate bass on the nest and take them for a prize. Obviously this doesn’t do the spawn any good and certainly isn’t a good practice for conservation.

Just being out this time of the year can be exciting, or at least it once was, as the woods around Table Rock area are beginning to realize it’s spring and the residents therein are about to put on some shows that can’t be seen on the pavement of the highway or the concrete of town. One of the most favorite past to me was being on a particular part of the reservoir, by myself, and simply set and watch what might be going on around that particular cove.

Happy Memorial Day, everyone!

Bob Mitchell is the former editor and publisher of the Cassville Democrat. He is a 2017 inductee to both the Missouri Press Association Hall of Fame and Missouri Southern State University’s Regional Media Hall of Fame.