We remember those who served for our country, sometimes fighting for the freedom of other countries. Most of all, we honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
Never forget, Freedom is not Free.
1. Why we observe Memorial Day
Memorial Day is a day of remembrance of those who have died serving our country.
2. It started with the Civil War
Memorial Day was a response to the unprecedented carnage of the Civil War, in which some 620,000 soldiers on both sides died.
3. It was first known as Decoration Day
From the practice of decorating graves with flowers, wreaths and flags, the holiday was long known as Decoration Day. The name Memorial Day goes back to 1882, but the older name didn’t disappear until after World War II. Federal law declared “Memorial Day” the official name in 1967.
4. The playing of ‘Taps’
The 24-note bugle call, is played at all military funerals and memorial services.
5. Flying the Flag
It is customary on Memorial Day to fly the flag at half staff until noon, and then raise it to the top of the staff until sunset.
6. Flowers and Flags
These are the two most popular items people use to remember soldiers.
7. The last Monday of May
Memorial Day is observed on the last Monday of May.
Day Is Done, Gone the Sun, From the Earth, From the Hill, From the Sky, All Is Well, Safely Rest, God Is Nigh
When Taps is played at dusk, it has a completely different meaning than when Taps is played during the day. No soldier really wants to hear it played during daylight. For when the bugle plays Taps in the daylight…that means a soldier has fallen…There is a belief among some that Taps is the clarion call to open the gates of heaven for the fallen warrior and letting them know to “Safely Rest”…
Of course, Memorial Day is about remembering the sacrifices that our military men and women have made over the last 237 years. We are still a young nation, but one that has made many sacrifices to remain free. We should also take time to remember the families who have lost loved ones.
We have focused on just a few of the fallen over the last few years. I’ve lost good friends during the War on Terror. And I write about the others to ensure that we don’t forget their sacrifices – I do that for me as much as for anybody.
There will be many Memorial Day observances here in the U.S. this weekend, but loved ones of service members buried abroad can rest assured their veterans will not be forgotten.
The American Overseas Memorial Day Association (AOMDA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to honoring the memory of those who gave their lives in World Wars I and II, whose final resting places are in American military cemeteries or separate graves all over Europe and even Africa…….
Memorial Day, when we remember that many sacrificed for our freedom, many made the ultimate sacrifice.
It pains me to see those who protest against those who serve and served, when their ability to make mendacious and hateful comments against our military are protected by those who defended that right to free speech. Except for Jane Fonda who was over in Viet Nam and conspired with the enemy, John Murtha and John Kerry who served and later demeaned our soldiers, most of these protesters haven’t been there and have no idea of the hell these people go through.
The solemn act of honoring those who have fallen in battle is a custom that seems to have faded in importance to our nation over time.
Nowadays, many Americans have forgotten the meaning and traditions of Memorial Day. At cemeteries across the country, the graves of the fallen are sadly ignored, and worse, neglected.
While there are towns and cities still planning Memorial Day parades, many have not held a parade in decades. Some think the day is for honoring anyone who has died, not just those fallen in service to our country.
Perhaps they do not know how deeply our nation once appreciated those who sacrificed their lives in defense of the principles we hold most dear. Perhaps those very principles of individual sovereignty, freedom and liberty are no longer so important.
It was not always so.
In 1868, on May 5th, Memorial Day, originally called “Decoration Day,” was officially proclaimed by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11.
General Logan asked that we cherish “tenderly the memory of our heroic dead, who made their breasts a barricade between our country and its foes. Their soldier lives were the reveille of freedom to a race in chains, and their deaths the tattoo of rebellious tyranny in arms. We should guard their graves with sacred vigilance. All that the consecrated wealth and taste of the nation can add to their adornment and security is but a fitting tribute to the memory of her slain defenders.”
We must stand on the principles that made this country great, honor the memory of those who gave their lives to make us free and stand up to those who wish to defeat us now, or tear us down because we are not like them or are able, willing and ready to defend ourselves and our freedoms This is unlike the pacifistic and appeasers and even some of our current deleterious leaders who didn’t understand what Patton, MacArthur, Nimitz, Bradley and others knew. You fight to win, then you negotiate the terms of surrender and how business will be conducted. Even on my blog, there are some that just have no clue as to what we are about as demonstrated in the absurd comments of this entry.
Others feel this way also like Ricky Gilleland, quoting from this article:
Quiet, soft-spoken 17- year-old Ricky Gilleland spends most weekends surrounded by tombstones, as he walks through Arlington National Cemetery just outside Washington, D.C. looking for the burial sites of those individuals who have died in the line of duty since September 11, 2001. Gilleland has taken on the job that the historic cemetery has not been able to do itself.
Through his website, preserveandhonor.com, Gilleland has cataloged the thousands who are laid to rest in Section 60 of Arlington Cemetery. With a camera in hand, Gilleland shoots a photo of both the front and back of the headstone, “to provide a virtual place for loved ones and friends to both locate the graves of the fallen and reflect on the memory of their sacrifice.”