“The Healing Field” 2021.

I have written before about Memorial Park, a venue in my City that is dedicated to all Lincoln Park fallen war heroes. There is a permanent granite monument honoring those service personnel, and, in pre-pandemic times, the City’s annual parade always preceded the solemn ceremony of laying the wreaths for all military factions in front of the war memorial. After that moving ceremony, a lone bugler played “Taps”.

Our City is named for President Lincoln and his visage is found all around our town. The guest of honor in the Memorial Day parade bears a striking resemblance to the 16th President, with his tall and slender physique, bearded face and stovepipe hat. He waves to the crowds lining the curb as he walks the mile-long parade route alongside his wife Mary Todd Lincoln. But there’s been none of that frivolity, followed by the solemn honoring of the dead, for two years due to COVID.

I was surprised to learn that Memorial Day’s origins were in part due to President Lincoln. Although the term “Memorial Day” has been used since the 1880s, this commemoration event/holiday was officially known as “Decoration Day” for more than a century. It was President Lincoln’s intent after the Civil War to honor the war dead that gave the ultimate sacrifice “to care for him who shall have borne the battle and his widow and his orphan” and this became part of this president’s legacy.

Flags for remembrance.

The Lincoln Park Exchange Club places about fifty flags throughout the Memorial Pavilion area every year around Memorial Day. However, every few years “The Healing Field” comes to Memorial Park, and, although I wrote about the traditional fifty flags just last year, when I read in the local newspaper that this special event would be there from May 16th to 30th, I made a point to stop by.

My visit was last week, in the morning, before leaving to walk at Council Point Park. I had hoped to see the flags flapping briskly in the wind, just like a smart salute an officer would give his superior, but it was a balmy morning and it seemed most of the flags were still. I wish I could have made a panorama shot as these photos simply don’t do “The Healing Field” justice.

What makes “The Healing Field” so special is that each of the 200 full-size (3 X 5 foot) Colonial Flag Foundation American flags honors one of our City’s military personnel. For example, each flag has an I.D. tag. There are 134 flags in honor of a Lincoln Park soldier or sailor who died in service to their country and whose name is memorialized on the Lincoln Park War Memorial. These are two examples:

Additionally, 64 flags are placed in honor of someone who is now serving, or who has served, in the armed forces.

Yesterday, in a ceremony at the Pavilion, the named flags of deceased military personnel were given to the families of the war dead, if they desired to purchase one.

The City has always honored its war dead, perhaps due to an allegiance to the president for which Lincoln Park is named, or simply because it is the right thing to do.

I will leave you with this quote by President Abraham Lincoln.

[Image of President Lincoln’s quote from Pinterest]

About Linda Schaub

This is my first blog and I enjoy writing each and every post immensely. I started a walking regimen in 2011 and decided to create a blog as a means of memorializing the people, places and things I see on my daily walks. I have always enjoyed people watching, and so my blog is peppered with folks I meet, or reflections of characters I have known through the years. Often something piques my interest, or evokes a pleasant memory from my memory bank, so this becomes a “slice o’ life” blog post that day. I respect and appreciate nature and my interaction with Mother Nature’s gifts is also a common theme. Sometimes the most-ordinary items become fodder for points to ponder over and touch upon. My career has been in the legal field and I have been a legal secretary for four decades, primarily working in downtown Detroit, and now working from my home. I graduated from Wayne State University with a degree in print journalism in 1978, though I’ve never worked in that field. I like to think this blog is the writer in me finally emerging!! Walking and writing have met and shaken hands and the creative juices are flowing once again in Walkin’, Writin’, Wit & Whimsy – hope you think so too. - Linda Schaub
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33 Responses to “The Healing Field” 2021.

  1. Sandra J says:

    Very nice, what a beautiful park to honor all on this day. Wonderful photos to see today Linda. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for sharing the history of this important holiday. Those flags are a fitting tribute to your fallen war heroes. (My late elderly aunt used to call Memorial Day, Decoration Day.) The I.D. tags are so poignant because they vividly illuminate the lives sacrificed in a very compelling way.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Barbara – I knew it was similar to last year’s post but decided the extra 150 flags with their I.D. tags were something I should share here. It is quite a sight to see and I wish I could have showed all of them in one picture. Growing up in Canada, our November 11th was the solemn occasion of Remembrance Day where here in the U.S., it is a day to honor those veterans who are no longer active. We always donned our poppies for Remembrance Day, even young children.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Really enjoyed reading your post Linda – the remembrance flags giving details of those lost are really nice the details giving some details puts their loss into focus.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thanks Andy – I always enjoyed reading your posts about the poppies in England. Here in the States we do have parades and that event is followed by a ceremony to memorialize the war dead. I grew up in Canada and our solemn date for honoring our war dead was Remembrance Day, just like in England. I wish I could have gotten one picture to show the 200 flags … it was quite a sight to see. I like this Healing Field honor and wish it was here every Memorial Day.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s nice that they include the names of the fallen.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. AnnMarie R stevens says:

    Miss Linda……………………………that is so wonderful and so fitting for today on Memorial Day……………………I always learn so much from you from your research into events …………………now I know about “The Healing field”……………………………here in our little town of Lincoln Park named after our president Abraham Lincoln and his beautiful quote

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Glad you liked this post Ann Marie … I was going to mention the event being here to you, but knew you would see today’s post. Then I just learned from the “News Herald” on Friday that they were having the ceremony and distributing the flags yesterday (that surprised me it wasn’t today). Yes, Lincoln Park is big on honoring Honest Abe. Our nickname for our high school sports teams was “The Railsplitters”.

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  6. Wonderful post Linda! I was wondering about the origin of how Memorial Day started…thanks for sharing your learnings with us. And the flags at Memorial Park with ID tags and names on them are very poignant to their families and future generations to remember their sacrifice for our country. I hope you had a lovely Memorial Day and good start to June! Whew…how did we get to mid year already?!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Glad you liked it Esther. I believe this is the third time the “Healing Field” has been here that I can recall. The fifty flags are nice, but here, it was almost overwhelming walking around the Memorial Pavilion and seeing all those flags with their tags. I found it interesting when I did a little research exactly how Memorial Day came to be. I spent two long days of the holiday weekend working in the back and front yard and one day, Saturday, I took for myself to go to four parks and find some ducklings (which I did). This year seemed to pass quickly so far and although things are opening up everywhere, I’m still going to stay masked up for a while with new variants coming out all the time and hope for the best.

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      • Best to stay safe and wearing a mask is not a major inconvenience! We’ve made it this far without getting Covid, let’s keep that up. Stay well.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Same to you Esther. I agree. I worry about all the variants and it would be easy to get COVID. People are still getting it and dying… I heard yesterday we are at 597,000 deaths in the U.S. – wonder when it will hit 600,000?

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      • It’s been a while since I’ve heard of Covid deaths. The numbers used to be all over the news and now it’s coverage has dwindled. Covid is still present but it’s probably less media coverage and focusing on vaccination numbers. What a year full of losses with Covid.

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      • Linda Schaub says:

        I just heard today that San Francisco has some of the most-promising stats as to COVID cases and deaths, but they attribute that to the fact that there are not that many younger people i.e. unvaccinated youth living there. I thought that was interesting. It has been a horrid year and we continue to see deaths here in Michigan … the variants leave me worried. I heard that the J&J vaccine is good at thwarting the new variants; hopefully our vaccines will be similarly effective.

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      • Maybe that’s the case here. Things are beginning to open up and people are getting more active. It’s a new thing to get used to after a year of living a hermetic life. Even for us bubble living peeps, it was a hard adjustment.
        Hope Michigan numbers improve and more people get vaccinated. That latter could thwart numbers and lower new case numbers. We’ve lived through the worst of the pandemic. Now just to forge forward without the word pandemic lurking around.
        Stay well and healthy!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        They are worried here in Detroit because in the actual City of Detroit, the vaccination rate is just 36% right now, even though they have had massive clinics and incentives where people are paid a $50.00 Visa card for volunteering to bring a friend/relative/neighbor for EACH Covid shot. Still, the vaccination rate is low. This weekend Detroit hosts the Gran Prix for three days at full capacity (for some areas) and it draws a big crowd on Belle Island, an island in the City of Detroit. Plus there is a Detroit Tigers baseball game and that is at full capacity. Now they are worried for having too much going on at one time. Lots of restrictions. You stay well and healthy as well Esther.

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      • The vaccination rate is still slow? I remember you mentioning that earlier but thought it was going to improve. ugh…discouraging.
        I wonder why people are holding back on the vaccinations. Fear of side effects, maybe? It seems a touchy subject for lots of people. CA. had some kind of lottery for vaccinators and some people won $50,000. Isn’t that wild?! Sadly, I did not get the call. 😦
        Same worries as you. Tuesday is reopening and not sure what that’s going to look like. Hope people take it slow and not get too excited about loosened restrictions and go nuts.

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  7. J P says:

    Thanks for exploring the history of this holiday, which is (or at least should be) different from the rest.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Laurie says:

    Thanks for sharing the touching photos of the Healing Field with us. What a poignant reminder of the sacrifice brave men and women have made throughout our history. It reminds me of The Blue Mile in the Marine Corps Marathon. Flags line the path of the race for a mile and names and pictures of deceased service members are on signs along the way. It always makes me choke up running that mile. I hope you had a good Memorial Day!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Joni says:

    It was a lovely display and looks like a lovely park!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      It is a nice display Joni. I wish they’d have that every year, instead of just the fifty flags. I have to start going to Memorial Park on my way home from walking. Last year “The Green Team” volunteer student garden club planted Lantana and Milkweed and I was able to get the Monarch and Swallowtail shots. I’ll wait a few more weeks and see what (or if) they planted annuals. The Tulips, Irises and Bleeding Heart have already bloomed.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        I am jealous of all your lovely parks, and so many so close to you. We have nothing like that here, well two but they are too far away, a 30 minute drive. The only one close to me is the one with all the geese goop and there’s nothing much to see there other than the water and often a very cold wind off it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        This weekend is kind of odd because I was going to go to the River – hoping to see a Mute Swan with cygnets while they’re very young. At the River they have “Bark on the Avenue” which is a three-day event that’s all about bringing your dog to go swimming in the portable pool, or play Frisbee and let them try the treats – no thanks. Don’t want that and next weekend is free fishing weekend, so you won’t be able to move there either. At Council Point Park tomorrow they have a 5K which I’ve done before but not doing this year – they planned it before the mask restrictions and crowd size regs were lifted. Then they’re planting trees (two dozen) around the Park. So not going there. Went to Heritage last week, Elizabeth the week before, so thinking I’ll go to Lake Erie Metropark and that is a 30-minute drive for me, but it would be good to give the car a run before this extreme heat sets in. The goose poop was especially bad at my Park this morning – three families of geese with their goslings and the goslings are very big now … all they do is eat grass = lots of poop and have to step around or take it with you on the sole of your shoes. Not looking forward to the next 10 days of extreme heat at all.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. ruthsoaper says:

    What a lovely memorial. Adding the tags with service members names and information makes it so much more real. I think most of us nowadays are so far removed from the sacrifices that these service people made that we tend to go about our lives without even a thought of how our freedoms were gained. Last summer I was at the Salvation Army store and picked up a copy of Tom Brokaw’s “The Greatest Generation Speaks” . It is a sequel to his book “The Greatest Generation” which I never read. “The Greatest Generation Speaks” is a compilation of letters he received after publishing the first book. They came from service members or family members of those who served in WWII. The letters told of each persons or families life as it related to WWII. As I was reading it I thought how this book should be required reading in every American History Class. We are at the point where most of those who were there are gone. The stories are told less often and are told second or third hand having less impact. I can only pray that we continue to remember those who sacrificed their lives for our country and realize that it is because of them that we enjoy the freedoms we have today.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      I agree with everything you said Ruth. When I was growing up in Canada, our day for mourning the war dead was “Remembrance Day” which is November 11th, same as our Veteran’s Day here in the U.S. It was a solemn occasion and prayers were said in school, red felt poppies were worn and you learned about those that didn’t make it home. That should be required reading for school. In fact, what happened with me in junior high and high school, we’d have to take history and the teacher would begin the year with the long ago wars and history, then it got to World War I and II and would simply gloss over it. I could stand to learn more … I never knew it was called Decoration Day until I did a little research into it for this post.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Thanks for sharing this history with us. Such a lovely park and tradition to honor the fallen. xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  12. It is wonderful the way we honor those that gave their lives for us. Such an emotional holiday.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Yes it is a sad and emotional holiday Diane. I can always hear them playing taps as they have the PA system on and they gave a gun salute afterward. I was surprised when I drove past Memorial Park this morning that the Healing Field was still in place. The newspaper said it would be gone last Sunday.

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