I started this morning by drinking coffee out of my Old Baldy mug . It seemed appropriate, as today would have been George Gordon Meade’s 201st birthday. The annual birthday commemoration took place at Philadelphia’s Laurel Hill Cemetery today. Once sufficiently caffeinated, my wife and I jumped in the car and headed for the City of Brotherly Love. This is an annual event to which we always look forward. It’s fun and respectful, and weird and wonderful, and unique. I always tell people, if you want to spend the last day of the year standing in a cemetery, this is the place to be.
It was a little odd to see Meade’s gravesite without the big Norway maple that towered over it. The tree, which had been standing there when the general was buried, finally succumbed to old age and was cut down earlier this year. Nothing lasts forever.
The tree, like the general, is gone, but yet it still lives on. At today’s event I purchased some coasters made from the old maple, and there were also things like flag holders available, too. Things fade and die, but they also live on. History keeps memory alive, and the people who show up each year for the Meade birthday commemoration obviously love history.
As I said, fun but respectful. Many thanks to the General Meade Society of Philadelphia for throwing this birthday celebration every year.