Monday, May 26, 2008

Happy Memorial Day

Today is Memorial Day, a day of remembrance for those brave men and women who have died preserving this nation’s freedom as well as assisting those countries around the world who have thrown off the yoke of oppression. It’s hard to prove the actual origin of Memorial Day, because so many groups have laid claim to it, harking all the way back to the Civil War. The likelihood is that, rather than beginning with an official declaration, it arose through spontaneous events in separate towns to honor the dead after the 1860s.
It was officially proclaimed on May 6, 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. The origin is not important. What is important is that this day is about reconciliation. It is about coming together to honor those who gave their all.
In 1915 , inspired buy the Poem “In Flanders Fields, Moina Michaels replied with her own poem:
“We cherish too the poppy red that grows on field where valor led
It seems to signal to the skies that blood of heroes never dies.”
It was she who conceived of the idea to wear red poppies on Memorial Day in honor of those who died serving the nation during any war or conflict.
Sad to say, many Americans these days have forgotten the meaning and tradition of Memorial Day. At many cemeteries the graves of the fallen are increasingly ignored and neglected. Most people no longer remember the proper flag etiquette for the day. While there are towns and cities that still hold Memorial Day parades, many have not held a parade in decades. Some people think the day is for honoring any and all dead, and not just those fallen in service to our country.
So whether you agree with a particular war or conflict or not, whether you think we should be fighting in a particular place or not, whether you agree or disagree with this countries stance on war and conflict, remember this. In ever one of these conflicts, brave men and women have left their homes and families to fight for freedom’s cause. To preserve freedom and keep oppression from spreading to our very shores. To save the way of life that our ancestors suffered hardships to establish and maintain.
Today, while enjoying friends and family, take a moment out to observe in silence, the recognition of those who have died so that we may all continue to live free.
Happy Memorial Day.


Anny Cook said...

Excellent Blog, Judith. Thank you!

Regina Carlysle said...

Wonderful, Judith.

Mona Risk said...

Great blog, Judith. God bless America and the young men and women defending our country.

Cindy Spencer Pape said...

Excellent points, and an important reminder. Thanks!

Judith Rochelle said...

Thanks everyone for your great comments.