Friday, May 27, 2011

Memorial Day: A Day to Remember

(By Jimmy Orr)

We cherish too, the Poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led
It seems to signal to the skies
That the blood of heroes never dies
("In Flanders Fields" by Monica Michael)  

Remembering on Memorial Day
Monday, May 30, is Memorial Day. Everybody loves a parade, right? Dacula has the best Memorial Day parade this side of the Mississippi and perhaps the best parade in the entire United States. Everybody loves a cookout, right? After all, isn't parades, hamburgers, hot dogs, barbeque ribs what Memorial Day is all about? Not so.

Memorial Day is a day set aside to observe the memory of our fallen warriors in all wars. There is a lot of history associated with Memorial Day. I encourage you to venture out into cyberspace and read all you can about this special day. There are many stories as to its actual beginnings. Over a dozen cities lay claim to being the birthplace of Memorial Day. Evidence points out that there were organized groups in the South decorating graves of the fallen with flowers before the end of the Civil War or as I would say, the War of Northern Aggression.

Memorial Day was first known as Decoration Day which lays down with what I stated in the previous paragraph where the graves of fallen warriors were decorated with flowers. Memorial Day was not officially proclaimed until May 5, 1868, by Union General John A. Logan and observed on May 30.

Memorial Day did not become common until after World War II when it was given its official name by Federal law in 1967. On June 28, 1968, Congress passed the Uniform Holidays Bill which moved Washington's Birthday (Presidents Day), Veterans Day, and Memorial Day to a specified Monday in order to create a three day weekend. Just like a bunch of bureaucrats to mess up what should be a solemn assembly when we recognize our fallen warriors and the past and present members of our armed forces.

Since 1987, Hawaii's Senator Daniel Inouye, a World War II veteran, has repeatedly introduced measures to return Memorial Day to its traditional date of May 30. I support Senator Inouye's measure as well as supporting the return of Veterans (Armistice) Day to its traditional date of November 11, regardless of what day in the week the day falls on with the exception of Sunday. Should either day fall on a Sunday, the following Monday should be observed. This should satisfy the bureaucrats.

Ohio Fallen Heroes Monument
In closing, let me say this -- enjoy the parade and enjoy your cookout but, set aside a period of time when you observe, in your own way, the memory of our fallen warriors. For me, that moment will begin at daylight at my flagpole. I will raise the flag to full staff and then lower the flag to half staff where it will remain at half staff until noon. At noon, I will return the flag to full staff. Afterwards, I will make my way on over to the Fallen Heroes Memorial located on the grounds of the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center where I will pay my respect to our fallen warriors in the memorial ceremony that begins at 1 p.m. -- especially to honor the memory of Lance Corporal Joseph "Ryan" Giese, United States Marine Corps, who was killed in action January 2011, while serving in Afghanistan. His name will be added to the Fallen Heroes monument Monday.

The way I see it, Memorial Day is a day to remember that the blood of heroes never dies.

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1 comment:

  1. I often get emotionally involved. Like when I read your post, I can cry, laugh, sad, funny, depending on your written words. I think you are a sensitive person.