Demaris Baptist continues tradition of Decoration Day

Demaris Baptist continues tradition of Decoration Day

Shirley Ingram said she made a promise to keep flowers on her family graves and she “will honor that promise as long as I can get down there.”

For her that means traveling to Demaris Baptist Church, Cedar Bluff, in Lookout Mountain Baptist Association, for Decoration Day, held this year on the first weekend of June.

The tradition was always to clean and decorate the graves at Lawrence Cemetery on Saturday and hold the homecoming and dinner on the grounds at the adjoining Demaris Baptist, Ingram said.

Changing times

“Thirty years or so ago a large crowd would be in the cemetery on Saturdays but the times have changed and people and traditions have changed with them,” she wrote on Facebook.  

But she still goes each year as do people all over North Alabama. It’s a tradition that’s been going for more than 150 years and is about remembering those who have died.

Bob Terry, editor emeritus of The Alabama Baptist, wrote in an editorial in 2006 that Decoration Day is a holiday associated with hard work and celebration.

“It is a time of fond remembrance and a time of affirming faith in life beyond the grave,” he wrote. It often corresponds with a homecoming and, of course, casseroles. And for many like Ingram, it’s a yearly commitment. (Grace Thornton)