Today, of course, is a day of remembrance. For all the veterans of the armed services we think of you (and remember you, and thank you) for the sacrifice and service you've given your country.
On a more personal note, today once was my maternal grandmother's birthday.
She was a beauty, wasn't she? Nowadays I refer to her in jest as my "hubba hubba grannie," but wowsa she really was.
She was born to a time where she always referred to today as "Armistice Day" - she'd forgo the newer term of "Veteran's Day" - and if you reminded her of the change she'd become snappish and say petulantly, "I know! I know!" (In hindsight, I wonder if she did it to annoy my dad, who was a WWII vet. Most probably. No, definitely. She loved to annoy him.) Or maybe she just didn't like to be reminded of all the conflicts in her lifetime. WWI. WWII. The Mushroom Cloud. Korea. The Cold War. The Cuban Missile Crisis. Vietnam.
She'd also tell we kids that the reason everyone had the day off was because it was her birthday. She was that important.
Grandma really was something else, when I think about it. This portrait was done when she was in her twenties. She was quite smart, as well as being beautiful. She was a math genius ("oh, calculus is easy" she'd advise when I'd whine about mere algebra), who worked as a CPA until my mother was born... in her late twenties. Pause for that. And as a young woman, she bobbed her
hair, raised her hems, smoked those cigarettes and danced that
Charleston when she was done crunching numbers for the day. Oh, I
forgot about the gin. Go Grannie go.
So, this remembrance is for her, as well as my uncles and father who served in WWII, my neighbor Mike who still deals with the horror of Vietnam, my friends who served (either because they volunteered or were drafted), in fact all veterans everywhere across this country who served because they believed it was the right thing to do.
Grandma's also remembered by the generation who lost her before they knew her. One of my GenX son's tattoos is Grannie inspired. I'd like to think she'd be rather proud.
We stumbled upon the small national cemetery in St. Augustine today. It's immaculate and well-kept and directly across the street from the water.
What was astounding is that there are three pyramids in it. They are quite old, and made of the coquina substance. When you read the plaque it says that 1,466 soldiers who died in the Indian Wars (1835-1843) are buried beneath them.
The cemetery grew around them.
It does not explain why the pyramids were chosen. I did some reading, and basically there isn't an explaination. I know a pyramid is on the dollar, but that was decided on in 1935 - many years later.
So what was the significance in utilizing these symbols in burying fallen soldiers of war? A mystery.