Saturday, May 26, 2012

Memorial Day Recognized

I remove my hat and bow my head in silence in remembrance of all the fallen.
Thanks for Stopping in at SlantedK.

This weekend, Memorial Day Weekend, well known for kicking off the summer and a gathering point for family and friends, break out the grills, feasting, drinking, swimming and relaxation. Many take to the roads camping, vacationing and just cutting loose.

The Great Race, Indy 500, NASCAR has it’s Coca-Cola 600, Basketball playoffs, so many events to entertain.

I live in a Military Town, when one hears Tucson Arizona; it is usually related to the Old West and Tombstone. However, in this region we have an Army, Air Force and National Guard Base.

While enjoying you beverages this weekend let’s not forget What Memorial Day is about; the lives given and lost in every military action throughout the generations.

The Red White and Blue has been soaked in our soldier’s blood.

Memorial Day, officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.

The first state officially recognizing the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890, all the northern states recognized Memorial Day. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war).

(Note by DMK, I have found there are many versions of the first location and declaration. The birthplace is claimed by Waterloo in 1866.)

Passed by Congress, the National Holiday Act of 1971 (P.L. 90 - 363) ensures a three-day weekend for Federal holidays, Memorial Day Weekend is now celebrated on the last Monday in May. Though several southern states have an additional separate day for honoring the Confederate war dead: January 19 in Texas, April 26 in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi; May 10 in South Carolina; and June 3 (Jefferson Davis' birthday) in Louisiana and Tennessee.

Traditional observance of Memorial Day has diminished over the years. Many Americans nowadays have forgotten the meaning and traditions of Memorial Day. At many cemeteries, the graves of the fallen are increasingly ignored, and neglected. Most people no longer remember the proper flag etiquette for the day. While there are towns and cities that still hold Memorial Day parades, many have not held a parade in decades. Some people think the day is for honoring any and all dead, and not just those fallen in service to our country.

There are a few notable exceptions. Since the late 50's on the Thursday before Memorial Day, the 1,200 soldiers of the 3d U.S. Infantry place small American flags at each of the more than 260,000 gravestones at Arlington National Cemetery. They then patrol 24 hours a day during the weekend to ensure that each flag remains standing.

In 1951, the Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts of St. Louis began placing flags on the 150,000 graves at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery as an annual Good Turn, a practice that continues to this day. More recently, beginning in 1998, on the Saturday before the observed day for Memorial Day, the Boys Scouts and Girl Scouts place a candle at each of approximately 15,300 gravesites of soldiers buried at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park on Marye's Heights (the Luminaria Program). In 2004, Washington D.C. held its first Memorial Day parade in over 60 years.

To help re-educate and remind Americans of the true meaning of Memorial Day:
The "National Moment of Remembrance" resolution was passed on Dec 2000 which asks that at 3 p.m. local time, for all Americans "To voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a Moment of remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence or listening to 'Taps."  

The Final Playing of Taps

Taps History told by John Wayne.

Some Gave All

Amazing Grace Bagpipes

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