Louisa: I was very excited to get to go with Miss Wendy out adventuring. I put on one of my nicest pinafores and tried to look my very, very best.
Louisa: The car ride was so much fun!
Louisa: First, Miss Wendy and her gentleman friend said we had to go to McDonalds. And that's where they said we went, though I saw no Scottish people at all.
Louisa: Miss Wendy ordered a "Happy Meal" and I asked her if a meal could really make you happy. She said I'd see.
Louisa: And when we found a nice park to eat in, I DID see!
Louisa: I think French Fries really do make me quite happy. Though it is a bit strange that a Scottish place would make French food. Very odd.
Louisa: The park where we'd stopped was a war memorial rose garden. Miss Wendy explained to me that it was Memorial Day weekend, and that while the people in the park across the street were celebrating by having cookouts and playing loudly, different people mark the day differently, and that we would be doing so with a quiet walk through the rose garden.
Louisa: It really was a beautiful place.
Louisa: There was a beautiful fountain with a lion!
Louisa: The fountain was in appreciation of Bryand Williamson. I don't know who he was, but he must have been a very nice fellow to have such a fountain in his honor.
Louisa: We just sat and were peaceful for a little bit. I tried to think back to all the Memorial Day lessons we'd just been having in class.
Louisa: I only found one rose bush blooming, and it looked like the blossoms were about done for. Even though they weren't poppies, I suddenly found myself thinking about the poem Miss Amha had taught us for Memorial Day.
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.*
Louisa: There was a fascinating sundial on the other side of the park from the fountain.
Louisa: We haven't studied these yet with Miss Simona and Miss Ahma, but I shall have to suggest it. I think I should like to build one for science class!
Louisa: On the opposite side of the sundial was a marker that read: "Dedicated to the men and women who served in the armed forces during all wars." Thinking back to my history lessons, that seemed like a great many people to dedicate a park to. I was happy someone had planted roses for them and remembered them.
Louisa: As we were leaving, I hoped that we would come back sometime when the roses were in bloom. And even though they're not poppies, they ARE red and it made me think of another poem we'd been learning from Miss Ahma for Memorial Day.
That grows on fields where valor led,
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies.**
Louisa: On the ride home, we were all very quiet and thoughtful. I found myself wondering about those men and women who had died fighting for freedom and defending our country. And I hoped that other people would remember them this weekend too.
* In Flanders Fields, by Lt. Col. John McCrae
** Moina Michael