It’s More Than A Day Off From Work Or A Day At The Beach!

It’s More Than A Day Off From Work Or A Day At The Beach!

This post

is dedicated

to all the

men and women

who bravely fought

and gave their lives,

and continue to,

for our freedom,

because we know

that freedom

IS definitely

NOT free.

"Greater love

hath no man

than this,

that a man

lay down

his life

for his friends."

John 15:13

I admit that I'm not a history buff in the slightest way, so I wasn't quite sure how I was going to write about Memorial Day.

So I simply did what anyone else would do, I "Googled" Memorial Day!

I learned much on my quest, and I'm very anxious to share my acquired knowledge with all of you!

Praying it's just as much of a blessing and encouragement as it was to me.

Memorial Day, which was originally called Decoration Day, is a federal holiday in the United States for remembering the people who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.

On May 5, 1868, General John Logan, the National Commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, officially proclaimed, "The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land." 

The date of Decoration Day, as General Logan called it, was chosen because it wasn’t the anniversary of any particular battle. And according to the White House, the May 30th date was chosen as the optimal date because of flowers being in bloom which could be used to decorate the graves!

On the first Decoration Day, General James Garfield, made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery, and 5,000 participants decorated the graves of the 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers buried there.

For decades, Memorial Day continued to be observed on May 30th, the date General Logan had selected for the first Decoration Day. Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act in 1968 which established Memorial Day as the last Monday in May in order to create a three-day weekend for federal employees; the change went into effect in 1971. The same law also declared Memorial Day as a federal holiday.

The following fact
is VERY interesting!

On Memorial Day, the flag of the United States is raised briskly to the top of the staff and then solemnly lowered to the half-staff position, where it remains only until noon. It is then raised to full-staff for the remainder of the day. 

American flag photo
Photo by sigsegv

The explanation
for why
this is done!

The half-staff position is to remember the more than one million men and women who gave their lives in service for their country. At noon, their memory is raised by the living, who resolve not to let their sacrifice be in vain, but to rise up in their stead and continue the fight for liberty and justice for all.

The Friday before Memorial Day more than 280,000 American flags are placed in each grave marker located in Arlington National Cemetery. It's a tradition called, "Flags-Up", and it honors our fallen military heroes. The task is carried out by soldiers from the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regime, also known as "The Old Guard". It takes them nearly four hours to place the flags in all the grave markers.

Another fact!

Don't confuse Memorial Day with Veterans Day. Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving. Veterans Day celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans.

“137 years later, Memorial Day remains one of America’s most cherished patriotic observances. The spirit of this day has not changed. It remains a day to honor those who died defending our freedom and democracy”
Quoted by Congressman Doc Hastings
Hastings gave a great reminder that it isn’t just a day off of work, but that the spirit of the day is to pay tribute to those who died for our country.

“It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God such men lived”
Quoted by George S. Patton
One of the most famous military generals in history, spoke of giving thanks and celebrating their lives rather than just mourning the soldiers lost.

Yet another
VERY interesting fact
which I found!

The National Moment
of Remembrance

The “National Moment of Remembrance” resolution was passed in December of 2000 which asks at 3 p.m. local time, that all Americans, “Voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a Moment of Remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence or listening to ‘Taps'.”

So as you can see Memorial Day is so much more than just having a day off from work, a weekend at the beach, or a barbecue with family and friends.

There's absolutely nothing wrong with the things I mentioned above, but let's all be sure to remember the TRUE meaning of the day.

Thank you to all of those who sacrificed their lives, and continue to, so that we can live in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Thank you to all those who lost loved ones in battle, and continue to, so that we can live in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

We honor, salute,

respect, remember,

and most of all,

with all of

our hearts say,

"Thank You!"

Resources:
Wikipedia
USMemorialDay.org
babble.com

 


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May God Bless You,

Barb

2 Comments

  • Linda

    June 4, 2017 at 12:38 am Reply

    Barb, thank you for this thoughtful post. I certainly didn't know all those details about your Memorial Day.
    Over here, our nearest equivalent would be Anzac Day, a set date in April - and a public holiday - where we remember our fallen soldiers. It is encouraging to us to see all the young people who gather at Dawn Services up and down the country alongside the older generations.
    Thinking of you, sending hugs and prayers across the seas❤️

  • Barb

    June 5, 2017 at 10:39 pm Reply

    Linda, I'm so thankful that through the post you were able to learn much about our Memorial Day. Your Anzac Day sounds amazing. A wonderful day to celebrate your fallen heroes. I love the picture you painted for me of seeing the young and the old lined up side by side along the country side at dawn participating in services. A site to behold indeed!
    Love you my sweet friend ♡♡♡

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