Has Memorial Day just become another holiday, a day off work, in a long line of holidays? Let’s not let it.
Do we remember why Memorial Day is so very different from many of the other “holidays”? Let’s give it meaning.
Memorial Day was originally named “Decoration Day”. It was a day for decorating the graves of fallen soldiers, heroes that had give up their lives for us – each one of us. That changed to Memorial Day in a congressional act in 1968.
My dad was a Marine. He fought in the Korean War. He was lucky. I was lucky because my dad came back, more or less, in one piece. But, many families, many soldiers have not been so blessed. Many families have lost fathers, sons, uncles, daughters and mothers to conflicts across the world.
Memorial Day, though, was begun because of a homeland war. A war we thought would go down in history as one of the bloodiest in the world. It was a war in which father fought son; brother fought brother; and our new country was torn apart and nearly destroyed. We thought it would be the war to end all wars. It sadly was not and after two World Wars and far too many wars afterward, we have asked our brave soldiers to risk their lives to protect ours. Our sons and daughters have been taken in many, many millions over the years of our country.
So, on Memorial Day, May 27, 2019, at 3PM, stop what you are doing and give thanks to all those who have fallen in the name of our country, in the names of each one of us.
Give thought to a young surgeon, John McRae, in World War I who watched his comrades die on a field of battle growing wild with poppies:
“In Flanders Fields” by John McCrae
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
Thank you to all the brave souls who have stood to defend our country and our best wishes to all those family members who grieved for those fallen souls.
May your God bless you for all the sacrifices.