31 May 2010

MISSION: Memorial Day

Memorial Day is a day I, Secret Agent L, take very seriously. Both of my grandfathers served in the Army during WWII, and while neither were killed in combat, their memories are both deeply ingrained in my heart and mind for the sacrifices they made to ensure my freedom. So to think of those who did make the ultimate sacrifice--giving their lives--to ensure my freedom is not something I take lightly. On this Memorial Day, I wanted to make sure that my actions reflected that sentiment.

Secret Agent Boyfriend was a tremendous help in making the two missions of the day go off smoothly. I thank him here publicly. His presence made today's missions all the more special for me.

I picked up some sunflowers from Trader Joe's, divided them into two bunches, and put each bunch in pink plastic bin. I laminated my business card (because I knew it'd rain today), along with a message, and attached them to the flowers and the bin.

MISSION #1: Calvary Catholic Cemetery, Greenfield Neighborhood, Pittsburgh, PA

Date: Monday, 31 May 2010

Time: 1:32 p.m.

Our first stop was the Calvary Catholic Cemetery in the city's Greenfield neighborhood, right on Hazelwood Avenue. Secret Agent Boyfriend was ready to go:

We drove in to the cemetery, passing by the large stone pillars at the front gate.

At first, we thought we'd leave the bucket of sunflowers by the cemetery's sign.

Secret Agent Boyfriend captured some video of our covert operation:

MISSION: Memorial Day from secret agent on Vimeo.

But after we saw several cars drive right by without slowing down or stopping, we thought it might be best to move the sunflowers to a more prominent--and stop-worthy--location:

Much to our delight, we saw several cars slow down, roll down their windows, and even get out of their cars to see what the sign said. We didn't see anybody take any of the flowers while we were there, but we only stayed for about 10 minutes after placing them on the side of the road near a little intersection in the cemetery, so we bet at least one or two people eventually "took the bait."

The service members' area of the cemetery is simply gorgeous:

The flags, which seemed to stretch on forever, really made the sacredness of the holiday hit home. I got teary-eyed more than once, and I couldn't help but get goosebumps while standing amidst such heroes.

MISSION #2: Squirrel Hill Neighborhood, Corner of Forbes and Shady Avenues

Date: 31 May 2010, Monday

Time: 2:02 p.m.

Next up, we decided to hit the street corner. We'd originally wanted to go to Soldiers and Sailors Museum in Oakland, but they were going to close soon, and we weren't sure we'd get enough people to see the flowers. Thus, the busy street corner near--where else?--Dunkin Donuts.

Only moments after we placed the bin of flowers on the street corner, next to the walk button, it started to pour. And I do mean pour. But, flowers love water, and my business cards were laminated, so all was well.

We figured that we'd get lots of foot traffic on that street, despite the momentary downpour. I hope the flowers, and the message, made the passers-by smile.

Happy Memorial Day, everyone.

And thank you to all the brave men and women who gave their lives so that we could be here today, enjoying our freedom...and each other.


Mandy said...

Such a great mission! What a beautiful idea and sentiment.

AiXeLsyD13 said...

Excellent idea!

It's an emotional time for a lot of families, I too had two grandfathers who served in WWII, as well as my dad serving during stateside during Vietnam.

Seeing one of their graves without a flag of flowers is upsetting, and were we to visit and come upon something like these sunflowers, it would most certainly lighten the emotional weight!

Pam_Wow said...

Beautiful. Perhaps my favorite of all of your missions.

Andrew said...

Terrific missions. Thy awesomeness knows no bounds.

Secret Agent L said...

thanks so much, you guys! yes, these two missions were so special to me. it makes me really sad to think that so many people just consider memorial day as a marker of summer's start or a day to have a bbq. i wanted to make sure that i didn't get sucked into that mentality, which is why i wanted to do a special mission.

i felt emotional all day, actually, but most especially while i was at the cemetery. i have the highest amount of respect for our service men and women. to think that many of them gave their lives for me, someone they'll never know, is humbling and simply amazing.