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    Tuesday, May 31, 2005

    Memorial Day

    Just in case that people were under the conclusion that Memorial Day was only about cookouts, the unofficial beginning of summer, and whatnot, I wanted to post a link to this.
    Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service. There are many stories as to its actual beginnings, with over two dozen cities and towns laying claim to being the birthplace of Memorial Day. There is also evidence that organized women's groups in the South were decorating graves before the end of the Civil War: a hymn published in 1867, "Kneel Where Our Loves are Sleeping" by Nella L. Sweet carried the dedication "To The Ladies of the South who are Decorating the Graves of the Confederate Dead" (Source: Duke University's Historic American Sheet Music, 1850-1920). While Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966, it's difficult to prove conclusively the origins of the day. It is more likely that it had many separate beginnings; each of those towns and every planned or spontaneous gathering of people to honor the war dead in the 1860's tapped into the general human need to honor our dead, each contributed honorably to the growing movement that culminated in Gen Logan giving his official proclamation in 1868. It is not important who was the very first, what is important is that Memorial Day was established. Memorial Day is not about division. It is about reconciliation; it is about coming together to honor those who gave their all.
    (Bolded emphasis mine, this link provided by Armando at Daily Kos)
    Here's a bit more on Memorial Day.
    Years ago, while I lived in Washington DC, we actually did a tourist thing and went to see the Arlington Cemetery.  To say that it was merely moving would be an understatement of the greatest order.  It was PROFOUND.  The point is, on Memorial Day more than any other day, a person should take personal stock of exactly how much was lost simply so that they could live in these United States.  Through bad wars, good wars, any wars, period, if you are a citizen of the U.S., you should never forget the losses that millions of people have endured so that you could do things that you might just take for granted.  Much, much love out to the armed forces yesterday, today, and, hopefully, tomorrow.
    No commentary on Iraq, today.  The pundits and politicans can deal with that.  But I'd like my brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers, daughters and sons safe as they can be, post-haste if you don't mind, dammit.



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