I was thinking about my Father today, and his World War II service – and my mind went to the history of what has come to be called Memorial Day.
From –>Memorial Day History:<–
Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation’s service. There are many stories as to its actual beginnings, with over two dozen cities and towns laying claim to being the birthplace of Memorial Day.
There is also evidence that organized women’s groups in the South were decorating graves before the end of the Civil War: a hymn published in 1867, “Kneel Where Our Loves are Sleeping” by Nella L. Sweet carried the dedication “To The Ladies of the South who are Decorating the Graves of the Confederate Dead” (Source: Duke University’s Historic American Sheet Music, 1850-1920). While Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966, it’s difficult to prove conclusively the origins of the day. It is more likely that it had many separate beginnings; each of those towns and every planned or spontaneous gathering of people to honor the war dead in the 1860’s tapped into the general human need to honor our dead, each contributed honorably to the growing movement that culminated in Gen Logan giving his official proclamation in 1868. It is not important who was the very first, what is important is that Memorial Day was established. Memorial Day is not about division. It is about reconciliation; it is about coming together to honor those who gave their all.
Let me repeat the last lines of the paragraph ~
It is not important who was the very first, what is important is that Memorial Day was established. Memorial Day is not about division. It is about reconciliation; it is about coming together to honor those who gave their all.
I found this article from the Commander of the American Legion quite fitting. I have posted a portion of his article … you can read the entire article and comments –>here<–.
By National Commander Paul A. Morin
As national commander of The American Legion, I implore all candidates to refrain from politicking on Memorial Day.
The families of those killed in war should not be led to believe that their loved ones died for a less-than-worthy cause. They died because they took an oath to defend this nation and its Constitution. The sacrifice is the same whether it’s for a “popular war” or an unpopular one. Memorial Day should be an occasion to bring Americans together to honor these heroes.
It brings to mind the words of Army Sergeant First Class Jack Robison, who recently wrote from Iraq, “Sometimes I think God must be creating an elite unit in heaven, because He only seems to select the very best soldiers to bring home early.”
If you want to honor these heroes, visit a veterans cemetery on Memorial Day. Attend a parade without the divisive political signs. Make cards for the comrades of the fallen that are recuperating in military and VA hospitals. Lay a wreath at the stone of a departed hero.
We Americans need to remember why Memorial Day is special. It’s not about picnics or trips to the beach. It’s not about making pro- or anti-war statements. It’s not about supporting political candidates. It’s about honor, duty and the ultimate sacrifice. It’s about people who have decided that the United States is worth dying for.