Sunday, May 29, 2016

Memorial Day

Growing up, our little house had a park with a lovely lake in the back. Just down the yard, cross over the road and there it was. I found out much, much later while reading a topographic map, that the lake had a name other than "The Lake". It was called Lake Creighton.
The park was lovely. Flowering bushes in spring...forsythias and lilacs. A "boathouse" made by CCC men during the Depression. Probably the lake was dug out then, too. There was another structure, down by the dam...some sort of pergola and a run off lagoon in stone. Sometimes golden carp could be seen frolicking in the lagoon. There were golden carp in the lake, too. And, most wondrously of all, in spring, fragrant wisteria covered the pergola.
If you were agile, you could climb up to one of the castle-like stone pillars and sit in the shade of that wisteria, hiding from others.
There was a wooden shed on the corner by the boathouse that the parkman used to store his rakes and such. There were three doors in the boathouse (which never in my lifetime had any boats associated with it) that we always wished had toilets. They were locked tight. There was a fireplace inside the stone structure, though. During ice skating weather, it would blaze with a fire started by the older kids. They'd scrounge wood from back yards and once caught the roof of the boathouse on fire. But I was too young to even guess who did it.
Besides, kids from other towns came to the lake. Some called it Willow Pond. I think I blamed them for the destruction there, but who knows who tore things apart and wrote over the walls?
The point of this story is that the whole park was named for a young man from Middlesex who died in WWII...Victor Crowell.
Down at the very end of the park, by the brown bridge, still stands a flagpole where, every Memorial Day, the town would rally for speeches and salutes and hearing the lonesome high school trumpeter play taps.
Not a word was ever spoken until it was done and the town suffered a moment of silence in memory of those who had given their lives for us.
And so it should always be.

No comments:

Post a Comment