Last updated: July 18. 2013 7:47PM - 144 Views
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This weekend many families will go and celebrate the lives of those family members who have passed. They will clean off graves sites and family cemeteries and place flowers on their loved ones. Many cemeteries will be mowed for the first time and cleared of debris.

It is still an annual tradition for many, but this tradition is disappearing. Teach your kids and grandkids! Instill values! We have lost this art of teaching because of the fast-paced lives and time we live in.

If you have the time, remember those that have been forgotten, those cemeteries that have been left untended for years. Weeds and trees are now taking over these cemeteries. Some are lost in the woods because family have died off or moved away. If, by chance, you have the time, find an old in-need cemetery and give it just 2-to-4 hours of your time.

Our heritage is being lost faster and faster. Traditions are being let go. We are not teaching our children the old ways for whatever reason. Those old ways can be mixed into modern-day traditions.

It’s easy to say, “Yeah, I want to do it, but things get in the way.” And then it doesn’t get done saying, “Oh, they can wait until I get the time.” Then finally it never gets done.

Restart, rebuild a lost family event. Our grandparents would tell us to do it and not complain. Remember what they would say and do? Find a cemetery in need, take the opportunity to teach your children and grandkids the responsibility to take care of these places, family or not, and help out! Once a year isn’t too much to ask! Four hours out of a year isn’t a lot! Traditions are what we are!

You might say, “Well, who are you to preach this?” I’m no one special! My parents and grandparents were born, raised and owned land in Floyd County back in the 1940s. I have found new cousins still living on some of that land. I have done my part by hiring the cleanup of one cemetery that hadn’t been cleaned since the mid-1980s when the last burial was done on it. I have distant family buried there. I didn’t know any of these people. I don’t know any living family to them. It is just the right thing to do! So here is the challenge, will you accept it?

Rick Reed

Columbus, Ind.

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