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Posted on Monday, May 29th, 2006

Dave!Today is the Memorial Day holiday, which isn't much of a holiday at all when you have to work.

The drive back from Seattle-side was uneventful because I headed out early before there was any traffic on the roads. It was still overcast and drizzling in the city when I left, then poured rain all the way over Stevens Pass. Once I was over the pass, however, everything changed. The skies opened up to a glorious blue and, by the time I made it home, there wasn't a cloud in the sky (really!).

This was nice for the Memorial Day services going on at our local cemetery because they display hundreds of flags (one for each veteran killed in service, I think). If it rains, they can't hang the flags since they have nowhere to dry so many of them. And if the ceremony was cancelled, I'd miss this beautiful site...

Memorial Day Flag

Memorial Day Flag

Memorial Day Flag

With apologies to R.W. (who is wanting a new flag design), I must say that the "Stars and Stripes" sure looks great against that flawless blue sky! If you look closely at the second photo, you can see how they mark each pennant that goes up with somebody's name.

I am not a big fan of the cemetery. For one thing, a good chunk of my family (not to mention my best friend) are buried there, and it's kind of depressing to be reminded that they have gone. When I picture them in my head, I see them as if they're still alive... but here in the cemetery it's hard to see them as anything but dead. I suppose that's why I don't visit very often.

One thing I do find interesting is the mystical symbols that are carved on various tombstones. In particular, the inverted pentagram seems to be a popular choice. I always thought this was a sign of heavy metal music or satan worshipers, and yet here it is all over the place, and always on lady's headstones...

Devil Metal!

Since heavy metal wasn't around back when these people were alive, I am guessing it means that they are satan worshipers. That woman in the middle must be hard-core, because she's got a hammer on hers as well! But when I look at the names of the people buried under the markers and see "Mae" and "Betty" and "Eleanor" and "Mabel"... well, those don't seem much like the names of satan worshipers does it?

I guess that means they were heavy metal fans after all... just really, really ahead of their time.

Categories: DaveLife 2006, Photography 2006Click To It: Permalink


  1. Laurence says:

    When the skies opened up to “a glorious blue”, we said in France : “un ange est passé par là” (an angel got past by there).
    Sorry for my mistranslation et my errors.
    But, maybe it happened to you…

  2. James D. says:

    Since you’re not usually the rude or ignorant type, I’ll just assume you’re joking about the whole pentagram-heavy-metal-satan-worship thing.

    It’ll help me keep liking you.

  3. jodi says:

    oh lots of groups use the pentagram, both inverted and upright. i bet those women are wives of advanced masons. they have a group that use inverted pentagrams. i remember having some sort of discussion with my grandparents about this. not that my granddad would really talk about the masons. cuz that’s the first rule or something.

    gosh your sky is beautiful! sorry it rained so much during your visit west of the pass.

  4. Karl says:

    So what years did some of these heavy metal satan worshippers die? Weird. I thought satan worshippers were supposed to keep that stuff a secret, like carving the pentagram into their scalps and then growing a full head of hair over it. That’s what Damien did in “The Omen.” And now that I think about it, when Damien grew up and became Sam Neill it didn’t seem like he was listening to heavy metal. No Judas Priest, no Motley Crue…nothing. He looked like he listened to The Carpenters or Captain & Tennile or something. Not very satany.

  5. Darryn says:

    Hi Dave

    As far as I can remember, the pentagram does not stem from an evil history. I came across this article which seems to explain a lot ( Looking at the article, and the that the deceased are females it looks like the symbols used show that they belonged to the “Eastern Star” (which is a side order of freemasonry for women).

    Lots of other interesting tidbits in that article.

    Thanks for the blog

  6. RW says:

    “The Order of the Eastern Star” is a international humanitarian organization composed of women who are wives of advanced Masons. They use an inverted pentacle as their symbol. Essentially all Eastern Star members in North America are Christians.

  7. Well the pentagram and hammer is a sign of a type of wiccan or norse/celtic worship but if these people died before 1950, I can’t really see that being the meaning. Before WWII, some jewish traditions used the 5 pointed star as well as the 6 pointed star. Other than that, I am a blank – I think I will go look it up in my dictionary of symbols, if I can find it.

  8. miftik says:

    A cemetary of head-banging Masons named Mabel, now that would be different.

  9. That is a really nice photo against the sky.

    I b’leeve the symbols are for the masons and similar orders. It’s all super secret what the symbols mean. :insert rolling eyed smilie here:

  10. SJ says:

    That is the symbol for the Order of the Eastern Star, which is the women’s division of the Masons. My late grandma was deeply into the Eastern Star rituals. I think it’s technically also open to men, but I’ve never heard of any man who was in Eastern Star instead of Masons.

  11. Dave2 says:

    Laurence: There are so many beautiful passages in French that it makes me wish I could understand the language better than I do! An angel indeed! I was very lucky to come home to such beautiful weather. 🙂

    James: Ummm… yeah. I can only guess it’s the female equivalent of the Masonic symbol, since the men paired with these ladies have the compass and ruler symbol on their headstones. But I find it more amusing to imagine that there was a heavy metal cult here in the valley. 😀

    Jodi: You are probably right. The swastika was a symbol of good luck for years before it became the sign of the Nazi party… and I think it is still used to mark Buddhist temples. I’d imagine that the pentagram works the same.

    Karl: Most of them seem to be the early 1900’s. Long before The Crüe came along!

    Darryn: The Order of the Eastern Star it is then! I kind of guessed it had something to do with the Masons when I saw all the Masonic symbols paired up on the men’s side of things. Thanks for the link!

    RW: Head-banging Christians though… right? 🙂

    Elizabeth: Now that we know it’s most likely “Order of the Eastern Star” now I want to know what the sub-symbols are in the 1st and 3rd markers! Kind of hard to make out though.

    Miftik: See! I’m not the only one who appreciates the idea of head-bangers! 😀

    Kentucky Girl: That’s okay… I’m going to come up with my OWN secret symbol for Daveism followers!

    SJ: Then there we have it… thanks for the confirmation SJ! 🙂

  12. Dave2 says:

    Ah, Wikipedia to the rescue. The symbols in the star apparently refer to “character-building lessons” learned from women of the bible. Wikipedia also had a better look at it…

  13. SJ says:

    Yeah, I remember Grandma had to have evening gowns in each of those five colors. Something to do with where she had to stand at each gathering.

    Is it my imagination, or do the letters around the pentagon spell out F-A-T-A-L?!?! WTF???

  14. Eve says:

    Go see The Da Vinci Code and Tom Hanks will tell you all you need to now about pentagrams (and he even throws in a bit about the swastika).

    These people HERE are Wiccans are fighting to have their religious symbols placed on their deceased veteran family members headstones.

    Me, I’m neither wiccan nor mason, so no pentagram necessary. But, I am a headbanger, so I’d like some heavy metal horns on my headstone.


  15. Mooselet says:

    I like the idea of a bunch of head-banging grannies a lot better than the logical explanation of Eastern Star members. The mental imagary makes me giggle…

  16. Bre says:

    Beautiful! There’s just something about the flag against a beautiful sky..

  17. Phil says:

    After you left, it got really nice here in Seattle this evening. The clouds broke open, the air warmed up; too bad it was so cruddy the last 2 days.

  18. RW says:

    Head-banging Chistians… what is it about that term that just seems… I dunno…

    But yes I think we should use the Betsy Ross Flag as the national flag. Same colors against the sky, I just think the circle of 13 stars in the blue field is cool.

  19. Brent says:

    Nice images, Dave. I put up an image yesterday with American flags. Cheers, Brent

  20. Chanakin says:

    Aren’t all women Organists? Really? Deep down?

  21. Arwen says:

    First rule about masons: don’t talk about masons…

  22. Dave2 says:

    But the movie “National Treasure” made it so cool!

  23. Jeff says:

    Beautiful pics!

    Whenever I think of your neck of the woods I always get the theme song from “Here Come the Brides” stuck in my head.

    “The bluest sky you’ve ever seen, in Seattle.
    And the hills the greenest green, in Seattle…”

    Of course the line they left out is, “…when it’s not raining.”

  24. amandarin says:

    SJ: The F.A.T.A.L on the Eastern Star logo stands for “Fairest Among Thousands, Althogether Lovely” from the Song of Songs (Song of Solomon)

  25. Renee says:

    The pictures you have are from the OES Order of Eastern Star. Each of the points rep a women from the bible that can teach a biblical lesson. If you are not a Star you may find these lessons interesting. Googel it for yourself. Don’t let yourself be miss informed. READ!!!!

  26. Dave2 says:

    Yep, we found it in a Wikipedia entry as shown above.

  27. Anonymous says:

    the middle one is diffrent from the others(no symbols). its red and the star has a hammer… Communist?

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