The big box stores begin putting up Memorial Day displays as soon as the Easter stock has either been sold or put into storage until next year. Racks of colorful plastic flower arrangements line the seasonal aisles near the stores' entrances to catch the attention of shoppers looking for just the right shade of lavender, or perhaps a patriotic red, white and blue number.Whether it's a modest wreath of roses or a huge spray of daffodils in the shape of a cross, you can find it amongst the plastic rainbow of colors, sizes, shapes and, let's not forget, price points.
I don't spend a lot of time browsing the Memorial Day faux flower displays, but I don't believe I'm wrong in guessing that most if not all these items are made in China. If the purpose of Memorial Day is to remember and honor the people we have lost, whether from illness, accident or in service to America, it seems ironic to me that so many folks choose to place foreign-manufactured plastic decorations on the graves of their loved ones.
Wouldn't it be nice to observe the occasion of Memorial Day by visiting the cemetery, placing a few fresh flowers on the graves and then planting a perennial, a shrub or tree which can be a lasting tribute to those who have gone from our lives.
My parents are buried far from here and I am unable to visit their gravesite. They were both avid gardeners; when I plant an apple tree this afternoon I will remember them and know they would approve.