Memorial Day-Remembering Our Fallen Soldiers
In 1867, Mrs. L. Nella Sweet, created the music for a hymn, dedicated simply, “To the Ladies of the South who are Decorating the Graves of the Confederate Dead”. The chorus of the song is touching:
“Kneel where our loves are sleeping, They lost but still were good and true,
Our fathers, brothers fell still fighting, We weep, ’tis all that we can do.”
The last Monday of May is what many consider to be the beginning of summer. Memorial Day, which has been the day which is to be dedicated to all the men and women who lost their lives while serving in the military, was originally known as Decoration Day. It was announced on May 5, 1868 by General John Logan, the actual national commander of the Grand Army Republic, in an order for the Union Army. Part of this order reads:
The 30th day 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. In this observance no form or ceremony is prescribed, but posts and comrades will in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit.
It goes on to read:
Let us, then, at the time appointed, gather around their sacred remains and garland the passionless mounds above them with choicest flowers of springtime; let us raise above them the dear old flag they saved from dishonor; let us in this solemn presence renew our pledges to aid and assist those whom they have left among us as sacred charges upon the Nation’s gratitude,–the soldier’s and sailor’s widow and orphan.
I guess the question of today is what does Memorial Day mean to you? For many families, it means visiting the cemeteries and putting flowers on the graves of loved ones they have lost. For others, it means barbecuing, family gatherings, and another day off from work. Unfortunately, for a lot of people, it means nothing.
What these people may not understand is that anything they do, from going out to mow their lawn or planting a garden to driving to work or even working itself, none of this would be possible if it were not for those who lost their lives during wartime. Every war the United States has fought in has been done so with a purpose. For YOUR freedom. It has been done so that you and everyone else residing in the United States of America can have the freedom to do what they want.
This Memorial Day, in 2010, when so many of our young sons, fathers, brothers, cousins, neighbors, and friends are overseas dealing with conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan, find a soldiers grave and place some flowers on it. Bow your head down and thank them for everything they have done for you. They paid the price for your freedom with their lives. Make this the year that you take time out of your busy schedule and thank them on May 31, 2010.