Monday, May 29, 2017

Summer of What?

A three day weekend. Summer residents and renters return. The start of the summer season. Free magazines are piled in front of local businesses. I browse the glossy pages. One editorial jumps out at me, "This summer we celebrate the #SummerOfSelf with a focus on health and wellness." I hope to care for myself as much as the next person, but this hashtag jumped off the page. #summerofself. Memorial Day. A day we remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice. The ultimate surrender of self. The author of the magazine editorial probably meant no disrespect, but the hashtag was a good reminder to me. A summer of selflessness would be a more apropos way to honor the fallen and make a positive contribution to our world.
While walking along Main Street in Bridgehampton the yellow wildflowers and weathered headstones of the old cemetery caught my eye. New flags grace the stones of veteran's graves. I went in for a closer look. One particular Civil War veteran's grave drew my attention.
William Corey
a volunteer 
in Co E 11th NY
Cavalry
Died March 26, 1865
AE 11yrs (??)
Could he really have volunteered at age 11? I searched for more about William Corey, appalled that he might have been on the battlefield at such a young age. Youths were sometimes used as standard bearers, but could it be true? I found William Corey on the NY Division of Military and Naval Affairs register for the 11th NY Regiment here. It reads, COREY, WILLIAM.— Age, 38 years. Enlisted, February 18, 1862, at Bridgehampton; mustered in as private, Co. E, February 18, 1862, to serve three years; mustered out, February 20, 1865, at Memphis, Tenn. The number that looks like 11 today is actually 41. He mustered out of service and died a month later. 
If you happen to be walking down Main Street in Bridgehampton, take the time for a walk through this cemetery. It is lovely and thought provoking. So many stories. What will be my story?
My challenge this summer is to live less selfishly, more selflessly. 
To act with thoughtfulness and kindness.
a #summerofselflessness

3 comments:

  1. 41 ...now we know.
    Gail you live as such already.
    I have always benn a bit stunned at the words ..I want to be about me...even more as time goes on.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love a cemetery, the older the better. They tell great stories on so many of those head stones. A beautiful post.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for your comments!