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Honoring Our Father Figures

Father’s Day can be difficult for those who have lost their father. Memories, whether good or bad, of that father-child relationship can rise to the surface and sometimes bring up unexpected emotions. This is a natural part of the grieving process, but one way to help yourself move beyond it is to reach out to someone else, by honoring someone who is not your father, but is an important father figure in your life.

Who are the father figures in your life? There may be an older man who has mentored you, whether in business or in life. You may have a confidant who acts in a fatherly capacity, giving you advice and comfort. On the other hand, when you hear the word “father”, it may bring to mind someone you admire because of his work in the community, or his parenting skills. It doesn’t have to be one you turn to as a father, but could be just as easily be someone who you see acting as a father figure to someone else. This Father’s Day, why not invest in those men you appreciate as fathers, using the energy and resources you would have used to honor your own dad?

  • Take a dad to lunch. If you traditionally took your dad out for a meal on Father’s Day, this might be a good year to take someone else. Maybe you’ll want to invite an older man who has played an important role in your life. On the other hand, maybe you’ll want to invite a young dad you know, who you feel could use some support. You might even ask your place of worship if they know of senior citizens who could use companionship, and choose a man without family as your guest of honor.
  • Write a letter. If there’s a man who has made a difference in your life, whether it’s a family member or just a friend, drop him a note to let him know he’s appreciated. It can be as simple as a thank you card, or as deep as a heartfelt letter; the important thing is to reach out and let him know he matters to you. While you’re at it, you might want to write your own dad a letter too, expressing how much you miss him, and either leave it at his grave or put it in a safe place to read later.
  • Donate to a good cause. Maybe you don’t personally know someone you want to honor as a dad. Why not donate money or time to a cause that supports dads or mentors kids. Maybe there’s a cause that was dear to your dad’s heart, and you can make a donation in his honor.
  • Help a dad in your community. There are always people in our communities who need a helping hand, so look around for a dad you can assist in some way, big or small. Men often have trouble asking for help, but it means a lot when someone notices and steps up for them.

When you honor the fathers around you, in a small way you’re honoring your own father. If you’re having trouble getting through the grief of losing your dad, or you want to create a memorial that will honor his life, we can help. Contact us to learn of the resources we have to offer, both in life-honoring tributes and in support for those left behind. In the meantime, we hope you have a meaningful, life-affirming Father’s Day.


Let’s Talk About Flag Day

How much do you know about Flag Day? Is it a holiday you observe? Why is it a holiday? For that matter, why isn’t it observed as a federal holiday, so we can all take the day off? We’ve got answers to everything you ever wanted to know about Flag Day and more!

  • When is Flag Day? Flag Day is observed every year on June 14th, although it’s not considered a federal holiday.
  • Why was that date chosen? June 14th is significant because on that day in 1777, the stars and stripes were designated by the Continental Congress as the official symbol of the United States of America, when they resolved “that the flag of the thirteen United States be Thirteen stripes alternate red and white: that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.”
  • Has Flag Day always been a thing? Actually, no one observed Flag Day for about 100 years after the holiday was established. Then, in 1885, a patriotic young school teacher in Wisconsin named Bernard Cigrand brought a flag into his classroom, told his students that June 14th was the flag’s birthday, and asked them to write an essay on what the flag meant to them. For the rest of his life, Cigrand worked tirelessly, speaking publicly about the good that could come from a flag holiday, and writing pamphlets, articles, and books about American history and the importance of the flag. His efforts paid off, and by 1916, flag ceremonies on June 14th had become so common that President Woodrow Wilson designated Flag Day as an annual national event. It wasn’t until 1949, though, that June 14th was officially designated Flag Day, when President Harry S. Truman signed the holiday into law.
  • Why isn’t Flag Day a federal holiday? In 1968, when the Uniform Holiday Act was instituted to designate official federal holidays, Flag Day didn’t make the cut. We’re not sure why it didn’t, but then again, it doesn’t have the strength of tradition that holidays like Washington’s Birthday have, and it doesn’t have a strong backing force like MLK Day or Labor Day.
  • Does anyone get the day off for Flag Day? Sure! While it’s not a federal holiday, it is a state holiday in New York and Pennsylvania.
  • Why should we care about Flag Day? Americans love their flag, not just because of sentiment, but because it represents true sacrifice, by the founding fathers and by veterans who have served our nation selflessly throughout its history. The flag has undergone some changes, as it has adjusted to reflect the national status, but it still waves proudly, representing the American values of freedom and liberty throughout the world.

We love Flag Day, because we love the U.S.A! That’s why we have a special soft spot for veterans and their families. We love working with them to make sure they receive the honors they deserve, with a memorial that not only celebrates their lives, but also appreciates their service to our nation and the flag that so proudly represents it. If you’re a veteran, talk to us about how we can help you pre-plan a memorial that will reflect your personality and honor your service.

Keeping Memory in Memorial Day

Ah, Memorial Day! The first long weekend of summer, when millions of Americans celebrate with backyard parties, beach trips, parades and general revelry. But is that what Memorial Day is really about? In truth, this is a holiday meant for remembrance. It’s a somber occasion, thinking about those who have lost their lives for our country, and the families they left behind. For many families bereaved of a loved one who was serving in the armed forces, the celebrations on Memorial Day are a painful reminder of loss.

How do we honor the true meaning of Memorial Day? By acknowledging that real people, with hopes, dreams, and lives, fought and died for our freedoms. The picnics and parades are a wonderful way to celebrate those hard-won freedoms, but there must be a moment when the celebratory mood turns solemn, and we remember what’s been lost. The “National Moment of Remembrance” resolution, passed in 2000, is meant to promote exactly that: At 3 p.m. local time, all Americans are called to voluntarily observe a moment of remembrance, either taking a moment of silence or listening to “Taps”. But beyond this token moment of respect, what can you do this Memorial Day to truly remember?

  • Ask a veteran about friends who were lost. Do you know someone who has survived combat? Talk to that person about their experience and the people who didn’t make it out alive. Ask questions sparingly, taking time to truly listen to the story and understand the experience.
  • Insert a tradition of remembrance into your family’s holiday. Maybe it’s a moment of silence, or singing the national anthem, or talking about soldiers and their sacrifices. Find something that will be meaningful for your family, and work it into your Memorial Day traditions.
  • Visit a cemetery that honors veterans. A cemetery where veterans receive honor and recognition is a good place for reflection, and the monuments can be a powerful reminder of the overwhelming sacrifices that have been made. If your loved one’s final resting place is at a cemetery, decorate his or her space. If not, you might want to bring flags or flowers to decorate the graves of those whose families haven’t done so.
  • Wear a poppy. Since just after World War I, poppies have been worn to symbolically honor those who died in service of our country. Sometimes, you can find crepe paper poppies sold by veterans’ charities, in order to raise money. If you can’t, creating these paper poppies at home with your children might be a great way to remind them what Memorial Day is all about.

  • Support military families. Military families endure great hardship in support of our nation, so the least we can do is give back some of that support. If you know a family whose loved one is deployed, invite them to join your Memorial Day celebration. If you know someone who has lost a loved one in combat, provide a listening ear. If you live in a community with military families, show your support in a tangible way, by offering to babysit or inviting them to dinner. If you don’t have the opportunity to personally help military families, do so by donating to charities that offer support.

We deeply respect and appreciate the sacrifices made by our nation’s military troops and their families. That’s why we work especially hard to honor veterans, working with their families to ensure that they receive the full honors to which they are entitled. For more information on our services, and how to plan a life-honoring tribute that memorializes the service of an American hero, contact us at (636) 946-6935 or stop by St. Charles Memorial Gardens, located at 3950 West Clay Street, St. Charles, Missouri for more information. In the meantime, we hope everyone has a meaningful Memorial Day.

Veterans Memorial Program

May 27, 2018
12:00 pm – 4:00 pm

For the last 57 years on Memorial Day weekend, we pay Honor and Tribute to our Country’s Veterans who, for many, made the ultimate sacrifice so we could enjoy our many freedoms.

On Sunday, May 27th, the Veterans Memorial Program is adding new and exciting activities for all ages and families at St. Charles Memorial Gardens. We encourage you, your family, and friends to be in attendance for our picnic, activities, and program. This event is completely free and open to the public.

The day will begin with a family picnic from 12 pm – 1:30 pm where you have the option to interact with veterans, hear their stories and visit our Field of Honor where thousands of American flags will be flown in tribute to our service men and women.

A flyover of an F-15 Eagle Aircraft will take place (pending operational ability) before the start of the Veterans Memorial Service which includes reading of the names and a poppy ceremony.

Sunday, May 27, 2018
Family Picnic 12 pm – 1:30 pm
Program 2 pm

For more details, visit our Veterans event page:

St. Charles Memorial Gardens

3950 West Clay Street
St. Charles, Missouri, 63301