Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day: Remembering Our Heroes

Today was Memorial Day. Many of us Americans, especially the younger generations, see this as just another three-day-weekend...a little vacation right before school ends for the year. While it is a nice break for us all, a 'vacation' is not what today is about; it's a day to honor those who have served this country and sacrificed their lives for the welfare of Americans.

On this day, I also choose to remember those who are serving; we owe them such gratitude for their day-to-day battles to ensure our freedoms and safety.

I am intrigued by how little is actually known about this holiday. This being said, I decided to do a little research on my own. After my brief inquest, I realize just how un-knowledgeable about this day I am and how much I take it for granted. So here I sit, astonished at how long I've gone without basic knowledge of this national holiday...hoping now to be able to share a brief history of this day so you can truly observe it the way it was intended!

Researching Memorial Day is not a difficult task at all! All you simply have to do 'Google' Memorial day and you will be directed to This site gives several different origination's of the day, many different types of observances, and how it has morphed throughout the years. This is what I found to be most interesting.

Some believe Memorial Day began with confederate wives remembering the day their husbands or loved ones paid the ultimate sacrifice by fighting for what they believed in. These 'gatherings'  were not organized, as far as the government was concerned, but took place in the fields in remembrance of the fallen Confederate soldiers.

The first 'official' proclamation of this day was by Gen. John Logan on May 5, 1868, and first observed on May 30, 1868 by the placing of flowers on the graves of the fallen Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.

Waterloo, NY has been officially credited with being the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May of 1966.

The history, stories, traditions of this day are numerous but each tells a story of remembrance; remembrance and respect to those who fought so valiantly for our freedoms. This is why today is so very important. We must not ever forget those who fought and are fighting for us...without them, this country wouldn't be a great nation!

On a very personal note, my grandfatherh Clifford (left), and my great uncle Cecil (right), both served this country. My grandfather was in the Navy and my uncle was in the Merchant Marines and Air Force. I am unable to visit them on this day, but would like to honor them all the same...thank you!

So this memorial day I would like to say to all the service men and women, past and present: Thank you! You have sacrificed, fought, lost, and served us all - both known and unknown to you - and for that, we will always remember you and be grateful to you!

I hope you were able to take this day and celebrate it in its entirety. If not today, then hopefully everyday out of the year we can take a moment to pay gratitude for this nations service men & women. Without them, we wouldn't be able to live such blessed and full lives as we are!

Panoramic view of my Memorial Day sunset!

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