The true meaning of Memorial Day is about Rememberance. For our Veterans, for our active members, and for all of our long lost Americans along the way.
I read an interesting article where Yale Professor, David Blight, who, in researching the earliest origin of what we know of as ‘Memorial Day’ today, came across a very interesting story. Most consider the origin of this day to stem from the loss of Union Soldiers during the Civil War. David’s research however, indicates it was first observed by freed slaves at the site of a mass grave for African American Union soldiers who had died in captivity at a Confederate prison camp in Charleston, S.C., 3 years before Memorial Day was officiated. They reburied them in individual graves, fenced in the graveyard, and built an arch to designate it as a Union graveyard. Blight’s research states that the freedmen returned years later and decorated the graves with flowers, followed by a parade and, of course, a picnic!
A co-worker, Diana Meehan, also sent this to me the other day and I would love to share it. I hope everyone has a wonderful Memorial Day weekend.
“As it is with each year, the approach of Memorial Day causes one to devote time to reflect on what’s truly important in our lives as Americans. Liberties that we may too often take for granted suddenly come into focus and, with it, respect and admiration for the heroic actions of those who are ultimately responsible for the lives we lead and the opportunities we are so fortunate to enjoy.
As a citizen who has never served in the armed forces, I can’t claim to understand the experience and bond of those men and women who serve or have served this great country over the years as members of the armed forces. Attempts to envision their world, especially in times of active combat, are mere mental exercises lacking the benefit of perspective of the implications, risk, and the ultimate price of success versus failure which rests on every action; every decision, great and small. The idea of a personal experience with such profound impact on an entire country and both present and future generations is, to me, almost incomprehensible. And yet, it occurs each and every day.
We live in a time in our history where politics and public discourse appear progressively polarized and consensus on seemingly any topic of substance necessary to move our country forward elusive. It is, therefore, heartening to have at least this one special day on which something greater rises above it all. A day on which there is unconditional and unwavering support for the selflessness and courage of those in uniform.
On this Memorial Day, we ask that you join us in recognizing those who not only have given of themselves for everything we have, but who also represent the true spirit of collaboration, teamwork, commonality of goal, and country before self which is truly the very best of America.”