How to Observe Memorial Day

Memorial Day is about honoring the countless individual acts of bravery and sacrifice. This holiday is also about honoring the brave men and women who make it home. That means keeping our promises to America's veterans. This Memorial Day, we remember all the Americans who gave their lives in defense of America. They died so that we may be free - and we are forever in their debt. Too many people have lost sight of the meaning of this holiday. If you visit How to Observe Memorial Day you can read the whole article, but here is an excerpt that lists the highlights.

"...gather around their sacred remains and garland the passionless mounds above them with choicest flowers of springtime....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."
~~General John Logan, General Order No. 11, 5 May 1868

"The "Memorial" in Memorial Day has been ignored by too many of us who are beneficiaries of those who have given the ultimate sacrifice. Often we do not observe the day as it should be, a day where we actively remember our ancestors, our family members, our loved ones, our neighbors, and our friends who have given the ultimate sacrifice:
  • by visiting cemeteries and placing flags or flowers on the graves of our fallen heroes.

  • by visiting memorials.

  • by flying the U.S. Flag at half-staff until noon.

  • by flying the 'POW/MIA Flag' as well (Section 1082 of the 1998 Defense Authorization Act).

  • by participating in a "National Moment of Remembrance": at 3 p.m. to pause and think upon the true meaning of the day, and for Taps to be played.

  • by renewing a pledge to aid the widows, widowers, and orphans of our fallen dead, and to aid the disabled veterans."

Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday observed on the last Monday of May (May 25 in 2009). Formerly known as Decoration Day, it commemorates U.S. men and women who died while in the military service. First enacted to honor Union soldiers of the American Civil War (it is celebrated near the day of reunification after the civil war), it was expanded after World War I to include American casualties of any war or military action.
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3 comments:

Martha said...

What a wonderful post! Thank you for taking the time to remind everyone that Memorial Day isn't just about BBQ's and picnics!

forgetfulone said...

This was a wonderful post. We're off school Monday, but I guarantee you our students don't even know why.

Emily @ Marvelous Recipes said...

Thanks for reminding us what Memorial Day is really all about. We are often prone to forget the many sacrifices given so we can enjoy our freedom!