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Wishing you a Happy Memorial Day this Monday . . .
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Our offices will be closed on Monday as we observe the Memorial Day holiday, so I thought I’d share a little history about the day as we head into the weekend:

Memorial Day as we know it was originally known as “Decoration Day,” and was first enacted to honor Union soldiers after the Civil War. It is celebrated on the last Monday of May, near the date of reunification after the war.

According to David Blight, a history professor at Yale University, the first Memorial Day was observed by former slaves in Charleston, South Carolina in 1865. Captured Union soldiers were held there temporarily, and many died. Soon after the fighting ended, a group of former slaves created a formal Union cemetery to honor the fallen soldiers and on May 1, 1865, a crowd of 10,000 gathered there to celebrate and honor them.

The name “Memorial Day” was first used in 1882, but didn’t become commonplace until after Word War II, and wasn’t declared the official holiday by Federal law until 1967.

Now, here are some things to think about as you consider how to honor veterans and others who have served and given their lives in our fight for human liberty. (These are excerpted from an email I received and you may have already seen them, but read through them anyway — it’s worth it.):

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 of 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.

Eternal rest grant them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them.

Wishing you and yours a safe and happy Memorial Day,

Chris

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13 Comments

  1. Anthony says:

    THANK YOU

  2. Jim Hughes says:

    And if it wasn’t for the American Veteran the people of France would probably be speaking German?  Food for thought! God Bless all veterans and the families that suffered their losses.

  3. Phil Friedman says:

    excellent, thank you

  4. Mark Searcy says:

    All I know is my brother died for our country and is buried at Arlington Cemetery and I am taking pause this weekend to commemorate that.

  5. Braudis Pegram says:

    Thanks Chris. As a Veteran and a person who has ancestors who were slaves, I appreciate the history lesson. Wishing you and yours the same.

  6. Ernest Fountain says:

    Thanks for those words of inspiration, they really touched a cord in my heart and a deeper respect for the veterans of all wars. May God bless you and yours!

  7. Rene says:

    Thank you! Same to you and yours!

  8. Jerry Saunders says:

    Thanks! I was in Iraq in 1991.  I didn’t lose anyone there, but I appreciate your greeting.

  9. Donna Marshall-Nail says:

    Chris thank you for your email.  Thank you for sharing the history. It really puts the day in perspective. I hope your ‘holiday’ is safe, fun and restful!

  10. Amy Winski says:

    Thanks, Chris, for taking the time to remember our Veteran’s! My family does many volunteer projects with our Veterans – and in this day And age when so many do not appreciate our military and many more would Never extend a prayer on their behalf – I am refreshed by your email that Expresses thanks and prayer!

  11. Chuck and Lynn Siple says:

    Chris, Thanks for your message. As we come closer to the ninth anniversary of the start of the war in Afganistan, we sometimes become complacent to what is occuring there and in Iraq. Our interest is reduced to skimming over the totals of dead and wounded without much thought as to the families that are affected. We know the Iraq and Afganistan wars run on, but it occupies a space in the periphery of our consciousness. Then things change. Our neighbors son (who we have known since the third grade) is now twenty-two and has joined the Marines. He will soon be sent to Afganistan and my wife and I are fearful for his safety.

    We join all the families in their day to day concern for their service members safety. This is what Memorial day is – not BBQ’s, beach, a reason to have sales or a day off from work. It is to remember those past and present who serve their nation. It has become personal to us. Now the numbers of dead and wounded are personal.

    We pray for our neighbor’s son and all of the Military who serve in harm’s way so that we can enjoy the freedom that we have. We shouldn’t have waited until it became personal.

  12. Albert Ankhoa says:

    Thanks for the history of Memorial Holiday. We wish you a great Memorial holiday as well.

  13. BOB SHIRO says:

    THANK YOU! AS A RETIRED MILITARY PERSON I HAVE HELPED THE REGULAR MILITARY, THE NATIONAL GUARD AND THE RESERVES AS A MEMBER OF THE ESGR IN VIRGINIA AND ARIZONA SINCE 1981 AND HAVE NEVER ASKED OR RECEIVED ANY PAY. IN 2009 I MET WITH 26 UNITS THAT WERE GOING OR RETURNING FROM IRAQ AND AFGANISTAN.OF COURSE MOST OF THE MEETINGS WERE ON WEEKENDS AND THEIR FAMILIES WERE THERE TOO. SPEAKING TO THEM AND PRAISING THEM GAVE THEM GREAT COURAGE AND ALL OF THEM THANKED ME AND SHAKED MY HAND. I WILL HELP ALL OF THE MILITARY UNTIL I LEAVE THIS EARTH BECAUSE OF MY DEDICATION TO THE SAVORS OF OUR GREAT COUNTRY. OUR MILITARY IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PEOPLE IN AMERICA AND THE BEST TRAINED TO SERVE AMERICA AND THE WORLD.

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