Nearby park has an Army cemetery. I took my puppy with me Saturday morning to go for a run. We set out three smooth rocks I had painted: a bee, a car and a field of flowers. I hoped the people who found them would enjoy them.

By the time we were done, the park was overrun with scouts. SUVs and minivans abounded, each producing families, friends, troops-full of children. Several wanted to pet my five month old puppy, a few wailed in fear if he got near them. All three rocks had been picked up. 

Before we left, a park officer invited us to watch the scouts place small American flags on each of the graves. Over 2000 graves in just 11 minutes, he said. I did not ask what happened to the flags after this weekend ended. 

I showed the compass application on my smartphone to two scouts attempting to identify north from moss on a tree. A man about my age pointed southeast and said to the boys, “Your house is that way, north!” I did not hesitate to point north and show him the compass, too. 

One woman approached to pet my dog, looked into my eyes and said, “You were in the Society for Creative Anachronism!” I looked more closely and recognized her as well. We had caravaned together to a big event about 20 years ago. 

Another private park also had hundreds of large flags posted. People stopped to take photos. It was an impressive sight but again I was saddened to think that in just a few days, most of those beautiful new flags would be headed for the giant trash dump north of town. Garbage is sad; patriotic garbage is doubly sad.

Still, it was cheerful to see bright faced children at the park, visiting an historical site and cooperating on a big project.

I hope we eventually go down in history as people who realized our mistake in making a disposable culture, and clean up the dumps. 


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