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It's Our Turn - Life and a people park

A sunlit path stretches out before me at Alexandria's Kinkead Cemetery on September 5, 2013. (Crystal Dey/Echo Press)

Once you cross the threshold, it always feels like home. Serenity surrounds you and you are among familiars...even if you don't recognize their names.

Walking through Kinkead Cemetery on a sunlit afternoon, I realized I don't actually know anybody laid to rest on that land, but I have something in common with everybody there. Life. They all likely walked the streets of Alexandria, saw the sunset at the same angle and might even have sat on the same bank as I, gazing at Lake Agnes. The scene changes, but people don't, not really.

We walk a path in life. Paved, dirt, cobblestone. It twists, sometimes we stumble and have to get back up, sometimes we take a wrong turn and sometimes the turns we take circle back to home. Alexandria isn't my home. Truthfully, I'm not sure I have one, but I'll miss Alexandria from time to time and the few truly unique spirits I have encountered during my spell in town.

Yes, the gypsy air has once again caught me and I am to be adrift in the next few weeks. Staying in Minnesota this time, headed up to what I'm told is called B-Town.

I love cemeteries, sincerely, and am anxious to find my favorite stone in Bemidji's Greenwood Cemetery. I find a favorite in each people park I visit. Sometimes I don't recall their names but I always find them when I return. A small white block with a hidden compartment along the north treeline in old Hibbing, the cracked and fallen slab adorned with a baby's frowning face from the 1600s in Wethersfield, Connecticut and the large black orb in the cemetery next to Minnesota State University Moorhead where I used to do my homework in college are among my notable finds.

I'm in the office a little later than usual today, September 11, 2013, trying to catch up on work before I embark on my next journey. I heard something troubling on the radio this morning. Presumably a voice actor portraying a little girl talking to her father as she grew up at different stages of her life — without him. He had died in the 9/11 tragedy.

Most of us don't know what those families went through, how they are still grieving, how they may want to not be reminded of their loss today. I believe three lone souls from Minnesota perished in New York that day.

I am worried Patriot Day will become to future generations what Pearl Harbor Day became to mine: words on a calendar. Everyone says, "Never forget." Don't.

Never forget to live each day. Never forget to take chances. Never forget to think in color. Never forget where you've been and never forget that where you are now may not be where you are tomorrow.

Crystal Dey

Crystal Dey is a staff reporter for the Echo Press. Originally from Minnesota’s Iron Range, Dey worked for newspapers in North Dakota, Florida and Connecticut before returning to her home state to join the Echo Press in October 2011. Dey studied Mass Communications at Minnesota State University Moorhead with an emphasis in Online Journalism. Follow Staff Reporter Crystal Dey on Twitter @Crystal_Dey.

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