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Salute To The Ancestors

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SALUTE TO THE ANCESTORS

by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Memorial Day, without a doubt, proved to be Uncle Richard’s favorite holiday. He had been a gravedigger at Yocum Pond Cemetery, in Stone County, Missouri, in the days before backhoes were used.

The approach of Memorial Day always brings Uncle Richard to mind. He taught me the protocol of how to act in a cemetery.

Like one of the 12 Disciples, he always stressed the importance of remembering the family members, who had lived before you. The bottomline is – without them – you wouldn’t be here.

Like a U.S. Marine Corps drill sergeant, Uncle Richard reminded me time and again about having “Respect For The Dead.”

Memorial Day evolved from Decoration Day. The original celebration honored the Union War Dead of the Civil War.

Memorial Day Wreath made by Christy Warren

The approach of each Memorial Day brings to life Uncle Richard’s memory and teachings. I find myself trying to remember family stories and get them into some form of print that will last after I am dust.

I find myself trying to see how far back I can go to find my ancestors. I can go back to my Great Grandmother C.J. Bellamy on my mother’s DeLong side. I can go back to my paternal Great Grandfather and Great Grandmother Joseph S Warren and Georgia Warren on my father’s side. I can also go back to my maternal Great Grandfather John H Warren and Great Grandmother Mollie Warren on my father’s side.

My branch of Warren’s are big on J and S names like John and Joseph. There also seems to be a passion for the S as in Samuel that keep rockin’ and rollin’ through the ages.

While I should probably be able to sit down and trace my heritage back to the first man and woman, alas, on the DeLong side, I can go back to Grandma Bellamy, December 17, 1853 and on the Warren side to both Grandpa Warrens with birthdays of March 14, 1851 and October 17, 1859. Basically, I can trace my DeLong and Warren ancestors to lives within the era of the American Civil War.

The challenge of tracing my wife’s ancestors is a work in progress. Saldana is the family name in the Republic of the Philippines. The devastation of World War II in the Pacific had an impact on trying to keep family histories in one piece.

How far should you be able to trace your ancestors ?

I believe the correct answer is how far back do you want to trace your ancestors.

We all have interesting lives. Not all of us wind up being the President of the United States or a four-star general, but our presence on the world stage, allows the human race to survive.

There are things in our life that we may not be proud of, but, it makes us who we are. No doubt, the same can be said for our ancestors.

Not everyone is going to be related to George Washington, the King of England or a Chinese emperor. Probably, many of our ancestors were just normal people doing the best they could to live their lives.

Along the way, some of those ancestors might be Texas Rangers and U.S. Marshalls or they might be horse theives and cattle rustlers. Regardless of their successes or failures, they contributed to the groundwork that would one day be you.

Without them, you would not be.

Memorial Day is the day that should remind us whether we know the names, birthdays, death dates, or stories, about these ancestors; the important thing is to be grateful that they faced the challenges of their day to give us the opportunity to face the challenges of our lives.

Granted, Americans will fire up the barbeque or hit the road to being summer vacations this weekend. We are Americans, this is what we do with time off from the gerbil wheel insanity of earning a living.

In the hulabalu that is the activities associated with Memorial Day Weekend; will time be found to visit the family cemetery and place flowers on the headstones?

Is it too much to ask that we take a moment to honor and remember our ancestors ?


Sam

Ancestor links


United States US GEN WEB http://www.usgenweb.org/

Texas TX GEN WEB http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~txgenweb/

Warren

Upshur County, Texas http://www.txgenes.com/txupshur/

Wood County, Texas http://www.txgenweb2.org/txwood/index.htm

Missouri MO GEN WEB http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~mogenweb/mo.htm

DeLong

Stone County, Missouri http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~mostone/stone.htm

Written by samwarren55

May 30, 2010 at 2:06 PM

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