Isaiah 6:8

8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day Salute

My father, a WWII veteran taught me when I was a child that Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Dayand was a day set aside for remembrance of those who have died in our nations service. In school I learned that Memorial Day was first proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, in his General order number 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868; when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers. The South, at first, refused to acknowledge, Memorial Day, honoring their dead on separate days until after WWI. It is now observed in almost every state of the union on the last Monday of every May. Since the Civil War more than 1.1 million veterans, both women and men, have lost their lives in service to America. Indeed the Civil War alone accounted for more than 600,00 dead. I have visited Andersonville, GA during Memorial Day and cried at all the flags that lined the cemetary, I have stood at the U.S.S. Arizona and cried for the men who died there, I have stood on Flander's Field, I have stood in battlefields all around our great United States and observed the love and bravery of men who gave their lives for my freedom.  Whenever I hear the National Anthem  played over the speaker system I begin to cry as I remember all of the fallen ones, the ones that served with my dad, my father-in-law, my husband, my son-in-law, my nephews, cousins and a whole host of others.  I have stood at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the Korean Memorial in peace and reflection and at the WWII Memorial and was heartbroken at the noise.  These are places to memorialize.  This was for my father.  I have heard many speakers give their speeches about their experiences and the meaning of Memorial Day. I have stood beside a WWII veteran  as he talked about the hardships and struggles and the fact that he was lucky to be alive when so many of his brothers had fallen victim to the war. One talked about how it was up to the veterans to teach "our children about the sacrifices made by so many". Another said, "that America will only be the land of the free so long as it is the home of the Brave". (and they are not talking about the baseball team.) These speakers spoke with so much pride about America that it was hard not to think about all the people who have no idea what this holiday is really about. While they go to their Bar B Q's and beaches there are some who keep up a tradition of pride in service to the United States of America and remember all those who had fallen, and rejoice in the ones who still live and remember. Let none of us ever forget what Memorial Day really is. If you have a vet in your family....or meet one on the street....tell them how much you appreciate them today...and every day!

1 comment:

Debby@Just Breathe said...

I would love to visit the memorials. I can imagine the impact it must have. We don't have a lot of family members who were in the service but I do know that Memorial Day is not about the BBQ's. We sat as a family and watched the PBS special on Sunday evening that was from Washington.