Calumet Park thanks all who visited the park this weekend to pay their respects. Thousands of cars passed through the gates over the weekend with people coming out to remember their lost loved ones.
Tag Archives: memorial weekend
The Veteran Memorial Columbarium is located in the Veteran Section. New this year are the five flagpoles that will have the branch of service flags flying high. They will be in place by Memorial Day.
The Memorial Weekend service for veterans will be at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 27. Pastor Dan Jacobsen will deliver the invocation. The service is organized by The American Legion First District and will have a number of dignitaries speaking, including the Honorable Peter Visclosky, with Captain James Wiltshire, USNR (ret) presenting the Memorial Day address.
Special thanks go to the Merrillville High School Symphonic Band, Wolff Gang singing group from Hobart High School, Mattie Willis singing My Buddy and Tom Cushing playing Taps. Other participants will be Tim Conner, Joe Simonetto, Marty Dzieglowicz, Judy Morris, Dewey Long, Denise Delaney-Wrolen, David Tretter, Chaplain Bob Downy, the Marine Corps Howlin Mad Detachment 93 and the many who make up the color guard.
This event offers an opportunity for all to show their respect and appreciation for all that our veterans have done to keep this country safe for democracy. To them and to their loved ones, Calumet Park salutes you and offers our most sincere thanks.
Questions regarding any of the Memorial Weekend’s many services, or for info about the annual fireworks on Saturday night, call 219-769-8803. Calumet Park is located at the corner of 73rd and Taft in Merrillville just one mile north of Route 30. See you there! When you call, ask about the many specials available for Memorial Weekend with the sale ending June 14.
What is 20′ x 30′ and flies 80 feet in the sky? Answer, the new flag flying over the entrance to Calumet Park Cemetery … 80 foot flagpole and huge flag … we salute all Americans! For Memorial Weekend, the following are specially priced: 25% off the Veteran Memorial Columbarium, 25% off the new Meditation Pond Columbariums (see pictures above), 25% off a new private mausoleum on a pond with a fountain next to the original community mausoleum, 25% off specific graves (ask a Family Service Counselor to show them to you…new sections, 50% off all selections in the Black Monument/bronze flush marker section, and 15% off all monuments and markers. We can deliver to any cemetery in NW Indiana.
For more information, call 219-769-8802
Thank you to all who came out to show their respect for all of our veterans, and especially for those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Giving one’s life for a just cause is going above and beyond the call of duty…giving your life for freedom is heavenly. A special thanks goes out to the owner’s of Calumet Park (yes, privately owned and proud of it), all the grounds crew, the family service department and to the administrative departments. It took a team effort to make Calumet Park Cemetery look so beautiful and a great deal of planning and execution for the weekend to go so smoothly. We received nothing but compliments from the thousands who entered these hallowed gates during the past three days. God gave us a weekend of wonderful weather, and your showing up made it a successful weekend of remembering.
There are men and women from these great United States serving in the armed forces today who will need to be remembered for having given up their lives when this holiday rolls around again this weekend. And sadly, as long as there are evil, crazy, power-hungry people habiting the planet, soldiers will die. How many of our fine young men and women have to be killed before peace can truly erupt around the world?
There was a song out when I was young entitled “Where have all the flowers gone?” by the Kingston Trio. It had a very repetitive beat played beneath a poem that I only now realize was probably meant to be that way as the story is the same today as it was when it first hit the charts.
Where have all the flowers gone, long time passing?
Where have all the flowers gone, long time ago?
Where have all the flowers gone?
Gone to young girls, every one!
When will they ever learn, when will they ever learn?
The next verse changed to young men, then soldiers, then graveyards until the graveyards went back to flowers…”and the beat goes on, and the beat goes on” sang Sonny and Cher. Vietnam, the Middle East and hopefully never… but looking scarier and scarier…Korea.
In cemeteries across the nation flowers will be planted and placed next to flags on the graves of so many innocent and lost souls. I believe the fallen soldiers, sailors, marines, airmen and women and reserves who gave their all are all in heaven as they gave their last breath for our freedom. That is a wonderful thought, and one day we will meet again.
However, in the middle of the night, when a parent or spouse or son or daughter finds they cannot sleep over their loss, heaven is far away. They need strength now…today…tonight, when they are alone with their thoughts. All the hopes and dreams and plans and fun, the tears and laughter that can no longer be shared with their guy or gal who died bleeding red, white and blue, they are the truly forgotten ones.
So, in this small space on the internet, I offer my prayers and the prayers of so many for all who have been left behind. God is good and all-knowing and always present which means some of our prayer energy needs to be offered for understanding and faith. I pray that a child can move though life with one parent gone forever, while a piece of the remaining parent does their best to do their best in all things. A wife or husband who hugged their honey goodbye and finds they will never be together again lives a pain that others who did not suffer such a loss will never know.
So, God…in Jesus name, I pray that you will give strength to those who are truly vested in Memorial Day. I pray that you will shelter them with your love. I pray that you will help them in their most alone moments as they live in but a shadow of their “coupled” life. I pray that you help them through this life, and that you accept their pain as their penance and forgive them if they may turn from you a little. I pray, God that you let them remember all the great times with their lost loves, and to cherish the little moments that brought them together in the first place. Thank you God, for the beauty that you will bless them with in the days ahead, and let their remaining time here on earth be lived in honor of their fallen soldier. Finally, I pray that you help mankind find a way to discontinue adding to the rolls of those we salute on Memorial Day. Amen
Come to our free fireworks show on next Saturday night at around 7:00 (May 27) at Calumet Park Cemetery in Merrillville. Call 769-8803 for directions and visit our webside for more info at calumetparkcemetery.com
I was finishing up a hot, salted pretzel with melted cheese at Subway recently. My wife was doing some shopping at Walmart, and I was along for the ride. But the salted, baked dough drew me away from the sock isle, so God bless the little things in life. That is when he came in. And that is when I learned a little about prejudging people without knowing anything about them except how they look.
As I dipped my last piece of pretzel in the cheese, a man came into the Subway space. His hair was not so long as it was frazzled…windblown in a not so attractive way. His beard appeared to be a blotchy three day growth and his mustache was long and drooping over his mouth. He had on a camouflage shirt and sweat pants with no-name gym shoes on. If I had to guess his age, he might have been anywhere between 60 to 70 years old.
In an instant, he pulled a chair right up to the counter and sat down right in front of the register. He stared at the teenage girl working the counter that evening for what was to me an uncomfortable amount of time. The first thing that came to my mind was “What the….?” As in many trips to Walmart, I felt I was going to see something that I never saw before so I cupped my ear to better hear where this was going, if and when he should speak. I was seated about 10 feet from the action and was ready to rescue the girl if things went bad.
Of course, with my own aged knees, it would have taken me some time to leap into action, but that is another story. Sixty-eight year old legs do not respond quickly to messages from the brain. It was then that he bent down, pulled up his left pant leg, and removed his artificial limb. He rubbed the stump for a minute or two, then put the leg (from the knee down) back on, returned his pant leg back into place, stood up, and pulled a note from his pocket.
I was embarrassed by my quick reaction that trouble just sat down. He spoke softly, slowly, and almost bashfully as he placed his order for four foot-longs. Reading from the note, he completed his order. I was into the moment by this time, and I approached him. Politely I told him I saw that he lost a limb, and asked if he would mind sharing what happened to him. Keep in mind that I have never gone up to a stranger and asked such personal questions before, but I was drawn to this man.
His answer hit me in the gut. I am sure that my face got red as my own emotions regarding his answer brought up some long suppressed memories of my own. “Lost it in Viet Nam,” he answered simply. Just then the teen rang up his order and asked how he wanted to pay for it. I told her that I would get it which opened up a small debate between myself and the stranger. I said it was the least I could do as he paid so much on the battlefield. I won the argument as I told him that I spent a couple of tours in Nam myself. He was a marine and we joked about who needed who the most…the marines needing the Special Forces or vice versa.
After we talked about when, and where and the why’s of how we spent our time so many years ago in a jungle on the other side of the world, I found out that he was my age, was a “region rat”, now lived in Vegas and liked to come back to NW Indiana once a year to go fishing and visit with old friends. I thanked him for his service and he turned and started to walk away. I sat back down and finished my cold drink, lost in thought.
It was shortly after that I felt someone standing beside me on my blind side. I felt a tap on my shoulder and turned to see this walking-wounded veteran looking down at me. I no longer saw the mismatched clothes, or the straggly hair or the answer to my “what the?” from minutes before. I saw clarity in his eyes and a smile. His hand was outstretched waiting for a traditional handshake. I extended my hand and he spoke softly, slowly and clearly.
“Thanks for the sandwiches. It has been 45 years since I got home and you are the first person who has ever done anything like this for me. Just wanted you to know that meeting you was special.” I could barely hold back my own tears and mumbled “no problem, sir” as we both felt a little weird, but in a good way. He turned and walked away, and I spotted my wife at the checkout counter. She asked who was the guy I was talking with since she knows I am not a talk-to-strangers kind of person.
So, what is the point, Dan? The point is that Memorial Weekend will soon be upon us. The point is not a stranger buying a stranger a sandwich. The point is that there are so many walking wounded men and women that cross all of our paths every day who wore the uniform of the U.S. armed forces. Much of their pain and injuries are mental. It is easy to see a man’s artificial limb in one hand while massaging a stump of a leg with the other and think, “Oh, let me buy him a sandwich”. What about all the survivors who have been in all the wars we have been involved in that walk around each day struggling to just maintain. There are ghosts that fill the dreams of so many, ghosts of horrors that few can ever comprehend unless you too walked in their shoes.
Memorial Weekend is a time to honor these people. To realize and appreciate the sacrifices that they and their families made to keep us safe and free. Whether one’s leg is torn away in a firefight in the jungles of Vietnam, or a soul is twisted and crushed from man’s inhumanity to man during times of combat in the Mideast, men and women come home from war changed. They need love and patience and understanding and space. They need to be acknowledged, even if only on Veteran’s Day or Memorial Weekend. It is in the power of every person that reads this story to buy a sandwich for a vet, or cut the grass for an old timer who helped to secure your rights as a U.S. citizen…and say thanks.
Nobody who has seen the things our military has seen, or been called upon to do the things that they are called upon to do should ever sit alone and wonder what it was all for. Oh, we will be embarrassed when you say thanks for your service…we will not want you to buy us lunch…we will try to refuse your help even though it may truly be needed. Extend yourself, and appreciate those brave men and women who have given so much. A good place to start is visiting Calumet Park cemetery over Memorial Weekend. Find time to share an hour of your life in showing you care. The official Memorial Day Service at Calumet Park Cemetery in Merrillville will be May 28 at 1:00 p.m. Invite your friends and take the opportunity to show you care.
Call 219-769-8803 for information on prearranging for your cemetery and funeral needs
Another successful Memorial Weekend is now part of history. Thousands of families visited the cemetery over the long weekend. Many planted flowers and all showed respect for the sacrifices made by their uniformed loved ones that gave their lives for our freedom. There were a number of services conducted by different religious denominations as honor was paid to all those who have passed on, whether military or civilian. Blessings to all who entered the gates of Calumet Park and for all those whose hearts were here but were physically unable to visit their loved one’s graves.
A special thanks to all the folks who worked so hard to make the cemetery a place that welcomes visitors. Remember us next year as we have had bigger and bigger crowds attend our free fireworks, lantern release, horse drawn carriage and hayride evening of fun as part of the Memorial Day ceremonies.
For information about pre-planning, or to have any questions answered, call 219-769-8803 or visit our website at calumetparkcemetery.com
By Laura Conant, freelance writer for Calumet Park Cemetery
What does Memorial Day mean to you? Is it the big sales at your favorite stores, having a four-day weekend, or being caught up in all the details of the big party you are throwing for the beginning of summer? Please take a moment to say a prayer and give thanks to the men and women of our military that have lost their lives because they were keeping us safe. Our military is made up of sons and daughters, fiancé’s, husbands, wives, and even some grandmothers and grandfathers. Each one of them is a beloved person to someone.
My experience comes from my fiancée’s death in Afghanistan 2009. I still think of him daily. Before their deaths many experienced horrible physical conditions, human brutality on an unimaginable scale, and a severe loneliness brought on by being separated from loved ones for extended periods of time. So many are affected by the horrible things they must do to survive in a war zone. Just as many are severely affected by the things they are not allowed to do to ease the suffering of the general populace.
Many are redeployed to these hellholes five or more times. Were you aware that 22 veterans a day, A DAY, commit suicide? They have been killed by the war just as surely as someone shot on the battlefield, or blown up by an IED. Our military sacrifice much for us and continue to do so even when they are no longer active duty.
So please, on this Memorial Day, take a moment to honor those who have died; and thank a veteran who is living, for their sacrifices. Semper Fi Chris.
The flag that stands for freedom,
Shouts loud for all to hear…
“We are the good old U.S.A.,
the land we hold so dear.”
The boys and girls who dressed the part,
Aged beyond compare
when they hit the shores of Normandy
or places ‘over there’.
Men and women served with pride,
At home or overseas…
All sacrificed their days of youth
So we could all be free.
And others, please remember,
Have never returned home.
Their souls to God, their blood to soil,
Their families left alone.
At Cal Park, we thank them all,
and understand their plight.
Peace the goal, but because of them
the world still fears our might.
The uniform that makes us one,
from Army to Marines…
and Navy, Air Force and the Guard,
brings peace by any means.
To all veterans and their families, Calumet Park Cemetery and affiliates salute you.
Join us this Memorial Weekend in our show of appreciation for all who gave the ultimate sacrifice.
For more info on the weekend, see our Newsletter on this blog or call 219-769-8803.