Interesting facts and my own feelings too!
For to many people Memorial Day is just the unofficial beginning of summer, a day off from work, and the start of grilling season. In the past, I can remember that's why I looked forward to this weekend, but that changed last year!
In June of 2008, I attended the funeral of a loved one who proudly served our country in the military; he was buried with military honors. During the service an Honor Guardsman told us we would never hear Taps again and not remember the sacrifice that many of our military men and women gave, the ultimate sacrifice - their lives for the protection of our freedoms, our rights, and our nation. Yesterday, as I watched the beginning of the Indianapolis 500, which always begins by honoring our fallen heroes with a 21-gun salute and Taps I did remember! So I would like to pass on these facts about Memorial Day, so that you will know what we are truly celebrating today, and that you will remember too!
When was Memorial Day first celebrated?
May 30, 1868
Why is Memorial Day celebrated on May 30?
Three years after the Civil War ended, on May 5, 1868, the head of the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) established Decoration Day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers.
How is the 3rd U.S. Infantry associated with Memorial Day?
Since the late 1950’s on the Thursday just before the Memorial Day, around 1200 soldiers of the 3d U.S. Infantry place small American flags at each of the more than 260,000 gravestones at Arlington National Cemetery. They then patrol 24 hours a day during the weekend to ensure that each flag remains standing.
Why is the poppy a symbol for Memorial Day?
In 1915, inspired by the poem, “In Flanders Fields”, Moina Michael authored this 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. She was the first to wear one, and sold poppies to her friends and co-workers with the money going to benefit servicemen in need.
Finally, I would like to say thank you to all of our military men and women, those serving currently and those who have served in the past! My family and I appreciate you and the work you have done to protect the freedoms that our country holds so dear! To the families of service men and women who have given the ultimate sacrifice, their lives to protect our freedoms, we say thank you and pray the Lord's peace be upon you today and always! We will never forget!