Tag Archives: cemetery

Finding History While Wandering in Siouxland, Rural South Dakota

21 Apr

Older tomb stones in an unnamed cemetery in rural South Dakota Tuesday, April 2, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Sometimes while driving around Siouxland I will stumble upon something I haven’t seen before and I always find that exciting. Although it doesn’t mean it’s something not known to others. I recently came upon an older, possibly pioneer cemetery in rural South Dakota. The older tombstones gave that impression, yet there were newer stones there as well so it’s still hallowed ground that continues in use.

A fence line bordering an unnamed cemetery in rural South Dakota Tuesday, April 2, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Older grave markers in an unnamed cemetery in rural South Dakota Tuesday, April 2, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I couldn’t find a name along the fence line for the cemetery and was then not able to do any research online as to its origins and who exactly may have settled in the area originally farming what was probably then part of the Dakota Territories. Given its location on a secondary road the settlers and this cemetery sat far from civilization. In a way it still does. But the plot of land is tended and that shows respect for those who have passed from this earth by those whose time has not come to follow. I can only suppose that it is descendants who continue to use this cemetery and care for those relatives who have left this earth, holding on to a dream of a new and better life.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

An unnamed cemetery in rural South Dakota Tuesday, April 2, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Siouxland Memorial Day at Floyd Cemetery, Sioux City

28 May

I have lived in Sioux City now almost 12 years. And have attended a number of Memorial Day ceremonies at the Floyd Cemetery in town performed by local American Legion posts and the Marine League and the women counterparts to each of these. The Floyd Cemetery ceremony was not always well attended, but it was always very intimate, with the few people there to honor to those who fought for their country and those who died. Gravestones mark the burials of men who fought in the Civil War, and later. So it was sad to find out Monday morning that the Floyd Cemetery Memorial Day ceremony was not to be, but instead a ceremony would be held at Graceland Cemetery. A larger place, more room for more flags and people, but missing would be the feeling of those long ago warriors, ghosts, who could be standing or sitting in the shade of the older trees at the Floyd Cemetery, receiving their due in heartfelt tributes, and watching the proceedings knowing they had done well.

But in recent years, the American Legion Posts and other organizations have been suffering a decline in membership, something I will address in a later musing, having talked with various members of the local Posts over the last few years.

But this doesn’t mean to diminish the tribute given to those brave men and women who serve and did serve which took place at Graceland Cemetery. I am just thinking that maybe Floyd Cemetery’s Memorial Day service received its own Taps Monday.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

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