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It was originally called “Decoration Day,” and was designated as a day of especial honor for Union soldiers who had been killed in the Civil War, though at the time it was instituted the official document referred not to the Civil War but to “the late rebellion.”

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When my family took the 125-mile trip east, it was almost always for one of three reasons: to pick up someone at Lambert Field, to watch my sister compete in the state spelling bee finals at the Famous-Barr building, or, the best, to watch the St. Louis Cardinals play baseball.

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The first year or two that I lived here, there would be occasional impromptu meetings at the intersection in front of my house. Various neighbors and former neighbors would gather to talk.