This coming Monday, May 25, 2015 we will celebrate Memorial Day. This is not just an excuse for a grill out, but a day set aside to remember all of those brave men and women who have died in serving and defending our country.
General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, officially proclaimed on May 5, 1968, that the 30th of May, 1868 would be set aside for the purpose of decorating the graves of those who died defending the country. This is why Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day.
While New York was the first state to officially recognize the holiday in 1873, today every state recognizes the holiday and the meaning behind it. Memorial Day was declared a national holiday in 1971.
Some of you may be young enough to remember several decades back when artificial red poppies, made by disabled veterans, were handed out to be worn to honor those who died serving the nation during war. You don’t see them around as often as in the past.
Moina Michael, in 1915, wrote the following poem and conceived the idea of wearing red poppies on this day to honor our heroes.
We cherish too, the poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led.
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies.
No matter the origins of the holiday, or the official name, this coming Monday is a time for all of us Americans to take a moment for a quiet prayer of thanksgiving. For without those willing to put their lives on the line to preserve our freedoms, who knows where our country would be and under what type of government we would live.
Thank you to all of the men and women who have served and continue to serve our great nation to the benefit of us all! And, our deepest sympathies to the families of those who gave their lives to insure our freedom. We are a grateful nation!