Saturday, May 28, 2016

It's Not all Cookouts

Born out of the practice of gathering to honor the fallen dead of the Civil war in communities across the nation and above and below the Mason Dixon Line, the predecessor of Memorial Day, Decoration Day, was first officially proclaimed by General John Logan,  “The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died...”



By the turn of the century it was becoming referred to as Memorial Day by many.  In 1915, inspired by the poem “In Flanders Fields,” Moina Michael replied with her own poem:

“We cherish too, the Poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led,
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies.”


She then conceived of an idea to wear red poppies on Memorial day in honor of those who died serving the nation during war.

After WWI the day was expanded to include Americans who had fallen in all conflicts.  1967, it was made an official federal holiday. Memorial Day remained on May 30 until 1971, when it was moved to the last Monday in May as part of the Federal Uniform Holidays Act.

Beginning in 1987 Hawaii’s Senator Daniel Inouye, a World War II veteran, introduced a measure to return Memorial Day to its traditional date. Inouye continued introducing the resolution every Congress until his death in 2012. In his introductory remarks to the bill he introduced in 1999 he stated:

“Mr. President, in our effort to accommodate many Americans by making the last Monday in May, Memorial Day, we have lost sight of the significance of this day to our nation. Instead of using Memorial Day as a time to honor and reflect on the sacrifices made by Americans in combat, many Americans use the day as a celebration of the beginning of summer. My bill would restore Memorial Day to May 30 and authorize our flag to fly at half mast on that day. In addition, this legislation would authorize the President to issue a proclamation designating Memorial Day and Veterans Day as days for prayer and ceremonies honoring American veterans. This legislation would help restore the recognition our veterans deserve for the sacrifices they have made on behalf of our nation.” 

The “National Moment of Remembrance” resolution was passed on Dec 2000 which asks that at 3 p.m. local time, for all Americans “To 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.”

Let us remember to honor those who fell while serving their nation and protecting our freedoms.  Place flags or flowers on graves,  wear a poppy pin or pause, reflect and pray at 3:00pm tomorrow. 



Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”- John 15:13, KJV

26 comments:

  1. Thank you for this post. Most folks just don't take the time to remember.
    http://enchantedfantasies.blogspot.com/

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    1. Thank YOU, Thea, for recognizing the importance of remembering and honoring.

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  2. My junior high school used to do a big thing for Memorial Day every year. I wonder if they still do.

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    1. That's great! Remembering our fallen hero's and teaching children the importance of their sacrifice.

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  3. This is a great post. I'm doing a post about Memorial Day tomorrow about my visit to the U.S. cemeteries in France. My thanks and remembrance will never be gratitude enough.

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    1. I can only imagine what it would feel like to stand there! I'll be looking forward to your post.

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  4. so nice to read this post; and how very thoughtful to bring in hero's who have sacrificed their lives so that we can be free. what a powerful quote from the scripture, thanks for sharing !!

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    1. Thank you for stopping by Caneyhead and sharing your thoughts.

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  5. Nope. Not all cookouts. It's about our soldiers and veterans. Past, present, and future. Nice post!

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    1. It's humbling to stop and think about the high cost of freedom: ours as a nation paid for by so many sons and daughters and ours as Christians, paid for by God's own Son.

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  6. Thank You Barbara. I would love to see the day returned to the 30th, in honor of those who deserve so much honor and remembrance.
    Well said. Thank you for it.

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  7. Excellent salute and reminder that it's not about summer sales and cookouts. Hope you have had a nice weekend.

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    1. Thank you. Yes, I had a wonderful weekend!
      Hope yours was as well.

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  8. What a thoughtful post. I agree about returning the holiday to the 30th. What would it hurt? I don't think of this day without thinking of all the little flags at the cemetery. I was very young when I learned what they meant and was heartbroken by how many there were (are).
    I like the idea of wearing red poppies:-)

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    1. Thank you for sharing your bittersweet memory with us.

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  9. Someone at my church mentioned Memorial Day's origin as Decoration Day yesterday. I live near a lake and the traffic gets horrible during this weekend. I do often wonder how many of those people even know the reason we celebrate Memorial Day. Thanks for sharing! God bless our soldiers!

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    1. I don't know. I'd like to think they all stop and reflect for a while, but I wonder.

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  10. Well said! We took a moment and remembered. We also hung a new flag on our pole in front of our house!

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    1. We stopped and reflected and prayed at 3:00 and invited out next door neighbor, who served in WWII over to dine with us.

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  11. I first became aware of Sen. Inouye during the Watergate hearings. Very sad when he passed. Great man.

    Someone wished me a Happy Veterans' Day on Sunday. Yes, Veterans' Day!

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    1. God bless. I suppose their intentions were in the right place, even if they were mistaken about what day it was.

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  12. Excellent tribute to Memorial Day!

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So glad you stopped by! Come 'round any time. ~ Barbara

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