From the Desk of

J. Michael Cross County Executive

     The last Monday in May was officially named Memorial Day back in 1882. The official purpose of the National Federal Holiday was to remember those who died in service to our country. Americans celebrate the holiday by placing flowers or flags on the graves of soldiers. Memorial Day is viewed by many to be the unofficial beginning of summer vacation, especially by school kids and is celebrated by many with cookouts and family reunions.

     For me as a child, it meant Decoration Day, with a visit to Cross Cemetery in Pickett County as well as several cemeteries around Fentress and Pickett County to decorate graves of family members. It was an all-day event involving grandparents, uncles and aunts, cousins and not a few “Strangers” wanting to hug everybody.

     More significantly, it meant “Dinner of the Ground” at church. Ladies staked out their spots with table cloths or sheets on the long dinner tables at church. They proudly hauled out the fried chicken, meatloaf, dumplings, stacked cakes and pies and more. For my friend Leon and I, it meant trying to “snitch” a chicken leg from momma’s or granny’s stash.

     For children and teenagers, it was a time to socialize, eat (a lot), court (teens), visit with friends and cousins, and to pretty much be a nuisance to every adult in attendance. For the older folks, it was a time of remembrance, sacrifice, family and church, community, patriotism and pride. For everyone, it was a special time of the year that marked our lives with special memories. I carry those with me today. Memories of grandparents long gone. Cousins that I haven’t seen in forty years. Real fried chicken. The stern looks from my dad if I got a little too “Rowdy”.

     Transitioning from youth to adult to being the elder spokesman for the “Cross Clan” was a long and eventful journey, filled with smiles and adventures, a few bumps in the road, a few sad passing’s, and a deep appreciation for our family and friends. Each year brings back vivid memories spread over a lifetime.

     Here’s hoping that your family celebrated “Memorial Day” in its own unique way. Happy “Dinner on the Ground” to everyone.

     We can be reached at 879-7713. Executive Assistant Amanda Hicks can also be reached at voG.n1534673509Tytnu1534673509oCsse1534673509rtneF1534673509@skci1534673509H.adn1534673509amA1534673509. County Commission Meetings are held every third Monday at 6:00 p.m. following a 5:00 o’clock work session. All meetings are open to the public.