Posts Tagged ‘Memorial Day’

Happy Memorial Day, 2017!

May 29, 2017

Today we honor those who have died in active military service!  And, what better way to thank them than with Toby Keith’s “American Soldier.”  Enjoy!

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Memorial Day, 2015!

May 25, 2015

Memorial Day, a day to commemorate those who have died serving our country. Whatever you are doing today, please take time to participate in the National Moment of Remembrance at 3 PM local time to observe a moment of silence.

Happy Memorial Day, 2014!

May 26, 2014

Graves_at_Arlington_on_Memorial_DayArlington National Cemetery is a United States military cemetery (400,000 grave sites) covering 624 acres in Arlington County, Virginia.  The cemetery was established 150 years ago (May 1,3 1864) and is directly across the Potomoc River from the Lincoln Memorial.  The most visited site within the cemetery is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier which has been continually guarded since since July 2, 1937.  On April 6, 1948, the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment began guarding the Tomb and they follow a rather strict procedure for doing so . . . 

  1. “Marches 21 steps down the black mat behind the Tomb.
  2. Turns, faces east for 21 seconds.
  3. Turns and faces north for 21 seconds.
  4. Takes 21 steps down the mat.
  5. Repeats the routine until the soldier is relieved of duty at the Changing of the Guard.

After each turn, the Guard executes a sharp “shoulder-arms” movement to place the weapon on the shoulder closest to the visitors to signify that the Guard stands between the Tomb and any possible threat.

Twenty-one was chosen because it symbolizes the highest military honor that can be bestowed—the 21-gun salute.

Each turn the guard makes is precise and is instantly followed by a loud click of the heels as he snaps them together. The guard is changed every half hour during daylight in the summer, and every hour during daylight in the winter and every two hours at night (when the cemetery is closed to the public), regardless of weather conditions.”

Source: the official website of the Arlington National Cemetery.

Happy Memorial Day, 2013!

May 27, 2013

Happy Memorial DayHere is a CNN article outlining some interesting facts concerning Memorial Day.

Below is a breakdown of all the U.S. war casualties from the Civil War (the original reason behind Memorial Day being established) to the present.  Very sobering.

U.S. War Casualties:
Civil War – Approximately 620,000 Americans died. The Union lost almost 365,000 troops and the Confederacy about 260,000. More than half these deaths were caused by disease.

World War I 116,516 Americans died, more than half from disease.

World War II 405,399 Americans died.

Korean War 36,574 Americans died.

Vietnam Conflict 58,220 Americans died. More than 47,000 Americans were killed in action and nearly 11,000 died of other causes.

Operation Iraqi Freedom 4,466 U.S. service members have died.

Operation New Dawn 66 U.S. service members have died.

Operation Enduring Freedom 2,219 U.S. service members have died as of May 21, 2013.

Source: http://www.cnn.com/2013/05/23/us/memorial-day-fast-facts/

Happy Memorial Day, 2012!

May 28, 2012

Originally called Decoration Day, today is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation’s service.  This observance originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the fallen Union soldiers.   The practice has been extended to honor all Americans who have died in all wars.  Flags are traditionally flown at half-staff from dawn until noon, and then raised to full-staff for the remainder of the day.  According to wikipedia, “the half-staff position remembers the more than one million men and women who gave their lives in service of their country. At noon their memory is raised by the living, who resolve not to let their sacrifice be in vain, but to rise up in their stead and continue the fight for liberty and justice for all.”  Another annual tradition is the national moment of remembrance which takes place at 3:00 PM (local time) each year.   I can think of no finer tribute to the men and women who have made this sacrifice than the poem Decoration Day by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

Decoration Day

Sleep, comrades, sleep and rest
On this Field of the Grounded Arms,
Where foes no more molest,
Nor sentry’s shot alarms!

Ye have slept on the ground before,
And started to your feet
At the cannon’s sudden roar,
Or the drum’s redoubling beat.

But in this camp of Death
No sound your slumber breaks;
Here is no fevered breath,
No wound that bleeds and aches.

All is repose and peace,
Untrampled lies the sod;
The shouts of battle cease,
It is the Truce of God!

Rest, comrades, rest and sleep!
The thoughts of men shall be
As sentinels to keep
Your rest from danger free.

Your silent tents of green
We deck with fragrant flowers
Yours has the suffering been,
The memory shall be ours.

— Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Happy Memorial Day!

May 30, 2011

According to http://www.snopes.com, traditional flag etiquette prescribes that before an American flag is stored or presented, its handlers should twice fold it in half lengthwise; then make a triangular fold (on the opposite end from the blue field) and continue making triangular folds until the other end is reached.  The end result is a triangular “pillow” with only the blue star field showing on the outside.  (It takes thirteen folds to produce: two lengthwise folds, and eleven triangular folds.)  It is NOT folded in this manner because each of the folds has a specific symbolic meaning, but rather because it provides a dignified ceremonial touch and results in a visually pleasing and easy to handle shape.  This thirteen fold procedure was a common practice long before specific “meanings” were assigned (and now widely accepted) to each fold (as represented below).  Even though these “meanings” were not the original intent, I like the idea of a symbolic meaning behind each fold.

 

The 1st fold of the flag is a symbol of life.

 

The 2nd fold is a symbol of the belief in eternal life.

 

The 3rd fold is made in honor and remembrance of the veterans departing the ranks who gave a portion of their lives for the defense of the country to attain peace throughout the world.

 

The 4th fold represents the weaker nature, for as American citizens trusting in God, it is to Him we turn in times of peace as well as in time of war for His divine guidance.

 

The 5th fold is a tribute to the country, for in the words of Stephen Decatur, “Our Country, in dealing with other countries, may she always be right; but it is still our country, right or wrong.”

 

The 6th fold is for where people’s hearts lie.  It is with their heart that they pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America , and the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all.

The 7th fold is a tribute to its Armed Forces, for it is through the Armed Forces that they protect their country and their flag against all her enemies, whether they be found within or without the boundaries of their republic.

The 8th fold is a tribute to the one who entered into the valley of the shadow of death, that we might see the light of day.

 The 9th fold is a tribute to womanhood, and Mothers.  For it has been through their faith, their love, loyalty and devotion that the character of the men and women who have made this country great has been molded.

The 10th fold is a tribute to the father, for he, too, has given his sons and daughters for the defense of their country since they were first born.

 The 11th fold represents the lower portion of the seal of King David and King Solomon and glorifies in the Hebrews eyes, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

 

The 12th fold represents an emblem of eternity and glorifies, in the Christians eyes, God the Father, the Son and Holy Spirit.

The 13th fold, or when the flag is completely folded, the stars are uppermost reminding them of their Nation’s motto, “In God We Trust.”

After the flag is completely folded and tucked in, it takes on the appearance of a cocked hat, ever reminding us of the soldiers who served under General George Washington, and the Sailors and Marines who served under Captain John Paul Jones, who were followed by their comrades and shipmates in the Armed Forces of the United States, preserving for them the rights, privileges and freedoms they enjoy today.

Happy Memorial Day!

May 31, 2010

While Memorial Day is a day to remember all who have died, the following message seemed like a fitting tribute as well (and Veteran’s Day just seems too far away to save this message for then).   So allow me to offer a big thank you to all of men and women serving in our armed forces (especially those who have died to ensure these freedoms — may their sacrifice never be forgotten).  To date, 1,000 soldiers have been killed in the Afghan war.

It is the
VETERAN, not the preacher,
who has given us freedom of religion.

It is the
VETERAN, not the reporter,
who has given us freedom of the press.

It is the
VETERAN, not the poet,
who has given us freedom of speech.

It is the
VETERAN, not the campus organizer,
who has given us freedom to assemble.

It is the
VETERAN, not the lawyer,
who has given us the right to a fair trial.

It is the
VETERAN, not the politician,
who has given us the right to vote.

It is the
VETERAN
who salutes the Flag.

It is the
VETERAN
who serves under the Flag.

(Source: unknown; image courtesy of Patriot Icon.)

Additionally, it is also “Make-My-Day” Day to celebrate the birthday of Clint Eastwood, who turns 80 today!

Happy Memorial Day!

May 25, 2009

How much do you know about this holiday?  Here’s a quick quiz to test your knowledge.  http://www.usatoday.com/news/military/2009-05-23-memorial-quiz_N.htm

So, how did you fare?  Here’s a description of the history behind this holiday: http://www.usmemorialday.org/backgrnd.html.

And, finally, here’s a tribute . . .