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30th of May At Antioch

By Col. Carlis B. Wilson

"30th of May" At Antioch Cemetery
For many years family and neighbours gathered here on the 30th of May to honour those gone on, by decorating their graves. In those days the women made beautiful home-made flowers, most were made from crape paper and wire. Many hours was spent in the creation of the assortment of flowers on the graves. It was many years later that I came to know this special day as Memorial Day. If my memory serves me right it used to be celebrated on the 30th of May regardless what day of the week it came on.

Antioch Church
Decoration day was also a day of special services at the Antioch Church. My first recollections of these times, the old white church building was still there before the congregation built the new brick building. I remember the singing and other services would start about 10:00 a.m. and continue until about 4:00 p.m. The people were free to come and go as they pleased, some would be in the graveyard and others in the church services. Some would stay long hours at the cemetery to meet with family and friends who would come to directorate the graves that special day.

Decorated Grave
I have seen pictures of decorated grave of my father Rev. Leslie Wilson when he was first buried, it must have been the first Memorial Day after his death. Dad died March 15, 1937. Grandmother Alma Coomer Wilson was in the picture, she died July 8, 1937. Aunt Ada Wilson Shelton was holding me. I would have been about three years old when the picture was taken.

I still get back to Antioch Cemetery from time to time and have fond memories of those early years. The cemetery is much larger now than then. I only remember graves being on the right of the entrance and the old section near the church. The brick school house that stood at the end of the cemetery next to the Akin Furniture Shop was still there in those days.


This story was posted on 2003-05-22 14:40:05
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