Memorial Day: small town celebration

My brother, Paul Johnson,  USAF

My brother,      Gen. Paul Johnson, USAF

I live in a small town with a city address. Our house is about twenty minutes from downtown Nashville, but small towns can be found all around our city. When Davidson County consolidated into Metro Nashville many decades ago, the small towns were wrapped inside the city limits.

Today’s Memorial Day Celebration at the Spring Hill Cemetery felt like small town. We had everything that makes a good summer celebration : music, speeches, prayers, military presentations, gunfire, cannon fire, and even a cookout. At the entrance the flag is at half-staff to recognize Memorial Day.

Spring Hill

Spring Hill


The entrance of the Nashville National Cemetery

Boy Scouts

Boy Scouts place a flag on every grave site at the National Cemetery.


Just across Gallatin Road (our main street) from Spring Hill is the Nashville National Cemetery. Just after the Civil War this land was purchased for a burial ground. Soldiers in Nashville hospitals and surrounding towns were buried here. The archway and the stone wall were built in 1870.

Even though land has been added to the original plot, there is only space for cremated remains.

Entrance of Spring Hill
Entrance of Spring Hill

Souder Productions provides the sound equipment and personnel for some of the events at Spring Hill, so for Larry it is a day of work, and I tagged along.


Our good friend, Dennis Boggs, a reenactor of Abe Lincoln delivers the Gettysburg Address along with a powerful message of honoring  the military  who serve our country.

A Navy group presents the flag and the long slow notes of “Taps” reminds us of those who did not return from war. Veterans are scattered throughout the audience and proudly stand when each service is called.Navy.1

Navy.4For some the memory is too fresh and honoring a loved one brings tears.  Grief


A proud marine and his family enjoy this day dedicated to remembering.


What would a celebration be in the South without Civil War reenactors.

Robert E. Lee made an appearance today!

Robert E. Lee made an appearance today!


Cannon roar and smoke


Hot dogs and hamburgers fresh off the grill


and little girls giving away flags.

  • freedom in land of plenty
  • men and women who give their lives for our freedom
  • families who sacrifice to support their soldier 
  • ceremonies that remind us of courage, sacrifice, loyalty, and pride





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