Monday, May 30, 2016

Memorial Day 2016 - A Time to Remember Those Who Made the Ultimate Sacrifice

Graves at Arlington National Cemetery
Memorial Day started as Decoration Day-- intended for placing flowers and other mementos on the resting places of friends or family who died while serving their country. 

We recognize them for the exceptional sacrifice they made to protect this country. We care for their families and friends with grateful, understanding hearts, acknowledging the enormous loss they have suffered.

Memorial Day 2016

On the morning of Memorial Day, the U.S. flag is raised quickly, then slowly lowered to half-staff to commemorate the more than 1 million we've lost in battle, almost half of them on our own soil in the Civil War. 

At twelve noon, the flag rises again, a pledge by the living to hold their memory alive and to continue the fight for liberty and justice.

The First Memorial Day

There are competing claims to the first Memorial Day, and many of the stories are tough to confirm. However they all have their foundation in reverence, and a desire never to forget the great price of guarding what's most valuable to us.

With such thoughtful roots, it's odd that Memorial Day has expanded to herald summer, observed with parades and shows, remembered with barbecues and first vacations to the beach. 

Not so odd, however, when we consider these festivities as a vital part of the life we prize, and part of what many died protecting.

So, while remembering the service men and women who never made it back, let's always keep in our thoughts and feelings the multitudes who continuously serve, and those who have become civilians. 

So many of them need help and support, and they have to know how profoundly we value exactly what they have done for our sake.

Memorial Day History

Memorial Day was created to honor fallen soldiers of the Civil War communities in the North and South. The first memorial days started in 1865 by laying flowers on headstones in the months after the war ended. 

It quickly evolved into an annual tradition, "Decoration Day" was typically set for early summer. The day eventually became known as Memorial Day and it now honors American soldiers killed in all wars and conflicts.

The first Memorial Day celebration was held in Boalsburg, Pa., Waterloo, N.Y., Carbondale, Ill. and a few other towns, including Richmond and Columbus, Ga. they lay some claim to originating of the tradition. Historians haven't settled on a definitive answer, though in 1966 Congress declared Waterloo the "birthplace" of Memorial Day

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