Memorial Day Weekend is often called the “Unofficial Start of Summer”. Over the years, it has turned into a holiday for barbeques, parties and warm weather fun. Sometimes these celebrations overshadow the real reason behind the holiday. But a handful of parents found a way to teach their kids the true meaning this weekend with a morning trip to Barrington’s Evergreen Cemetery.
Four year old Ania Gugulski had paused to take a rest when I took this picture. Memorial Day can be pretty heavy for a four-year-old, but this trip to the cemetery was meant to make an impression. Ania’s mom brought her three kids to Evergreen to place American flags by the graves of Barrington area veterans. She was teaching one small way to show appreciation for the people who help fight for our freedoms.
They were searching for veterans’ graves with their dad, Cathal who says, “They go around and see names, dates, Army, Navy and it helps them understand.”
I watched as they paused at each tombstone, reading, touching and taking it in. It was really moving.
There are over 130 veterans buried at Evergreen Cemetery from the War of 1812, the Indian Wars, the Civil War, the Spanish American War, World War I, World War II and the Korean War. Talk about a lesson in history! Every year, on the Saturday before Memorial Day, Brownies, Girl and Boy Scouts grab an arm full of flags and set out to search for the graves of local service men and women.
Evergreen Cemetery is at 610 Dundee Avenue in Barrington, between Hillside and Coolidge. It is also the final destination of Barrington’s Memorial Day Parade Monday morning. Thanks to kids like Ania, Mary and Kate, the cemetery is spotted with American flags this weekend in a show of sincere respect, appreciation and gratitude for those who have sacrificed so much to protect our way of life.
***If you would like to come out to watch Barrington’s Memorial Day Parade tomorrow, it starts at Main (Lake Cook) and Cook Streets at 10 in the morning. Veterans, high school students, Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts will parade West on Main Street and then South on Dundee Avenue down to Evergreen Cemetery where there will be an 11AM ceremony at the “Soldiers and Sailors” Civil War monument.***