The Memorial Day edition of the Register was on its way to our recycling pile when I noticed something about the front page I hadn't caught, though I had read the story on the Chuck Odums family in its entirety first thing that morning. To the right of it was a story about commencement at Huron High School. And, on page seven, the pairing continued as both stories wound to their conclusions.
It's a deeply saddening irony. Charles Odums speaks of memories of his son, and certainly one of those memories at this time of the year was when Chuck himself was graduating from high school not many years ago. Huron High's class president challenged graduates to "live their dreams, because no one is going to live them for you." True enough, and yet, perhaps, a better reason to live our dreams is because life is fragile, and some of us never get the opportunity to live them.
I did the usual Memorial Day things ... put out the flag, cooked ribs for my wife and my mother-in-law, ate too much, and got sleepy in front of the TV set that evening. But, time and again, throughout the day, the song "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?" played in the recesses of my mind.
Philip A. Gardner