Sunday, May 30, 2010

{ All Gave Some....And Some Gave All }

Let us not treat this gift as a cheap one.

Let us honor the liberty bought for us by men in uniform.

Happy Memorial Day Weekend Everyone!!!

I decided to make a quick theme for this long weekend and leave it up until Tuesday, hence the different header and background!

We all know when Memorial Day is, but how many of us know the true history behind it or even remember why this day is celebrated?

I thought I would share it today, not only for those who have forgotten, but for those like my family and friends overseas who may not know the reason behind this day.

Three years after the Civil War ended, on May 5, 1868, the head of an organization of Union veterans — 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.

Maj. Gen. John A. Logan declared that Decoration Day should be observed on May 30. It is believed that date was chosen because flowers would be in bloom all over the country.

The first large observance was held that year at Arlington National Cemetery, across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C.

The ceremonies centered around the mourning-draped veranda of the Arlington mansion, once the home of Gen. Robert E. Lee. Various Washington officials, including Gen. and Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant, presided over the ceremonies. After speeches, children from the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Orphan Home and members of the GAR made their way through the cemetery, strewing flowers on both Union and Confederate graves, reciting prayers and singing hymns.

It was not until after World War I, however, that the day was expanded to honor those who have died in all American wars. In 1971, Memorial Day was declared a national holiday by an act of Congress, though it is still often called Decoration Day. It was then also placed on the last Monday in May, as were some other federal holidays.

Gen. Logan’s order for his posts to decorate graves in 1868 “with the choicest flowers of springtime” urged: “We should guard their graves with sacred vigilance. ... Let pleasant paths invite the coming and going of reverent visitors and fond mourners. Let no neglect, no ravages of time, testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten as a people the cost of a free and undivided republic.”

The crowd attending the first Memorial Day ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery was approximately the same size as those that attend today’s observance, about 5,000 people. Then, as now, small American flags were placed on each grave — a tradition followed at many national cemeteries today. In recent years, the custom has grown in many families to decorate the graves of all departed loved ones.

To ensure the sacrifices of America ’s fallen heroes are never forgotten, in December 2000, the U.S. Congress passed and the president signed into law “The National Moment of Remembrance Act,” P.L. 106-579, creating the White House Commission on the National Moment of Remembrance. The commission’s charter is to “encourage the people of the United States to give something back to their country, which provides them so much freedom and opportunity” by encouraging and coordinating commemorations in the United States of Memorial Day and the National Moment of Remembrance.

The National Moment of Remembrance encourages all Americans to pause wherever they are at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day for a minute of silence to remember and honor those who have died in service to the nation. As Moment of Remembrance founder Carmella LaSpada states: “It’s a way we can all help put the memorial back in Memorial Day.”

Tens of thousands of names are inscribed on war memorials and headstones all across this country and in a number of overseas locations. From a distance, those names may seem indistinguishable. Yet, every husband or wife, mother or father, brother or sister, son or daughter, who visits, will always see his or her loved one’s name first. This Memorial Day, we also honor and thank them – those who placed so much on the altar of Freedom and for whom the pain of loss remains undiminished.
I thank every single soldier who served and continues to serve this amazing country.

Like Mari's son Andy, Michelle's husband Joe, Courtney's husband Matt, Laina's husband Eric, Christina's husband Dominic, Autumn's husband, Keri's husband Jason, Eden's husband Steve, Andrea's husband Daniel, Niki's husband, Laura's husband Brandon, my friends back here on base....Katrina's husband Joe (currently deployed), Heather's husband Troy, Alicia's husband Stephen and Jen's husband Charles..........

and last but certainly not very own soldier, who I love more than life and am extremely blessed to still be able to thank in person, to his face, something that other families unfortunately can not do.

Tech Sergeant Stripes

And I certainly can't leave out my wonderful father in law Doug, who unfortunately is no longer with us. He was a very proud Marine and loved his country!


Heart2Heart said...


What a beautiful tribute and history to the significance of a day that should be remembered. I personally thank you for the service your family does to keep our country and our freedoms in tact.

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

Danielle said...

This was a fabulous post! Once again, thank you for everything you and your entire family do for our country! There are so many people who don't know or have forgotten the meaning of this day, and simply think of it as a day off from work or an excuse to party! So good for you for reminding everyone the TRUE meaning of Memorial Day! :) Have a great Holiday weekend!

Mari said...

Thanks for a wonderful post, sharing the meaning of Memorial Day. I love the whole look you gave your blog for the weekend also.
Thanks for mentioning all the bloggers you know with connections to our military, with special thanks to you and your family for your commitment to our military folk!

Lynn said...

Great post! Thank you for sharing it. And thank you for all you and your family does for your country!

Kar said...

Wonderful post Sandra! Thanks for it.

Congrats to Curt for his promotion! Well deserved! Thank him for serving our country. :)

As for the matchy crochet stuff for the kitchen/dining room, I just made them up as I went. Made so many chains for the item I was making them for and then went for as long as I wanted it to fit. Hope that makes sense.

the lady of the house said...

Thanks for sharing this Sandra.

I didn't know about the pausing at 3 p.m. today - which is really weird because we took a nap today and I'll tell you I woke up at 3 on. the. dot.

Don't think I'll ever forget.

Thank your husband for us for his service and your dedication as well my dear.

You're a gem, The Lady of the House

Susanne said...

I really enjoyed reading this Sandra. I didn't know that Americans take an "official" moment to pause and remember. Our day that we remember is November 11 and we pause at noon here in Canada.

Laina said...

this is a beautiful tribute to the real meaning of Memorial Day. Great job! I know I am a day late. I meant to send you a post yesterday....thank you to your husband for serving our country. And thank you to you as a military spouse because we both know you do your part to serve as well :) Take care!

Lisa said...

what a great post. Thank you sharing the history of the day, I didn't know all of that! i think we all get so caught up in our every day life and the minutia of life, that we need a little help to stop and remember what is truly important, including the sacrifices that are being made every day by our armed forces and their families, to keep us safe.

Thank you!!

Laura said...

Great post! :)

I am very proud of our soldiers. A lot of people think that the Air Force has it easy.. so not true. My husband has been working 12's on and off for the past 3wks. Last night he got 3hrs of sleep before he got called back in. Our guys sacrifice so much.. I am proud to say that I'm a military wife! And I know you are, too! :)

Have a great week, Sandra!