May 28th Is Memorial DayMay 6th, 2012 by Craig Mullins
Simply put, Memorial Day is a day at the end of May when Americans commemorate and celebrate the country’s fallen military heroes.
While it may seem these days that Memorial Day is more about clothing sales, there is actually a noble history behind hit.
Once known as Decoration Day, Memorial Day originated after the American Civil War to honor the Union soldiers who lost their lives during the war. By the 20th century, the day came to honor all Americans who have died in all wars.
In addition, Memorial Day also marks the unofficial start to the summer season.
According to the US Memorial Day website, there are several reverent ways to honor the men and women who paid the ultimate price to help protect their country.
- 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.
Many local communities have public picnics and events to honor the day; some areas even have special parades.
If there’s nothing like that in your area, take the initiative and plan something yourself! Invite the families in your area who have lost loved ones to war, as well as your local veterans. Make it a potluck so everyone feels involved; it also helps to bolster the spirit of community. Once everyone has gathered, the reading of a poem is a great way to get the festivities started.
© 1999 by Michelle Keim, Commander of Royersford VFW Post 6341 in PA.
As we stand here looking
At the flags upon these graves
Know these flags represent
A few of the true American brave
They fought for their Country
As man has through all of time
Except that these soldiers lying here
Fought for your country and mine
As we all are gathered here
To pay them our respect
Let’s pass this word to others
It’s what they would expect
I’m sure that they would do it
If it were me or you
To show we did not die in vein
But for the red, white and blue.
Let’s pass on to our children
And to those who never knew
What these soldiers died for
It’s the least we can do
Let’s not forget their families
Great pain they had to bear
Losing a son, father or husband
They need to know we still care
No matter which war was fought
On the day that they died
I stand here looking at these flags
Filled with American pride.
So as the bugler plays out Taps
With its sweet and eerie sound
Pray for these soldiers lying here
In this sacred, hallowed ground.
Take home with you a sense of pride
You were here Memorial Day.
Celebrating the way Americans should
On this solemnest of days.
How will you be observing Memorial Day this year? We’d love to hear your plans – share them below in the comments section!