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Memorial DayMemorial Day
In the United States, a day on which those who died on active service are remembered, usually the last Monday in May.
U.S. holiday. Originally held (1868) in commemoration of soldiers killed in the American Civil War, its observance later extended to all U.S. war dead. Most states conform to the federal practice of observing it on the last Monday in May, but some retain the traditional day of celebration, May 30. National observance is marked by the placing of a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery. Flags, insignia, and flowers are placed on the graves of veterans in local cemeteries.
Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday that is observed on the last Monday of May (observed in 2007 on May 2. It was formerly known as Decoration Day. This holiday commemorates U.S. men and women who have died in military service to their country. It began first to honor Union soldiers who died during the American Civil War. After World War I, it was expanded to include those who died in any war or military action. One of the longest standing traditions is the running of the Indianapolis 500, which has been held in conjunction with Memorial Day since 1911. It is also traditionally viewed as the beginning of summer by many, for many schools are dismissed around Memorial Day.
Many people observe this holiday by visiting cemeteries and memorials. A national moment of remembrance takes place at 3 p.m. Washington time. Another tradition is to fly the U.S. flag at half-staff from dawn until noon local time. Volunteers place a U.S. flag upon each gravesite located in a National Cemetery.
Many politicians and community leaders give speeches at community gatherings on Memorial Day. In addition to remembrance, Memorial Day is also a time for picnics, family gatherings, and sporting events. Some Americans view Memorial Day as the unofficial beginning of summer and Labor Day as the unofficial end of the season. Some Americans use Memorial Day to also honor any family members who have died, not just servicemen.
Tonight a friend of mine was watching the Memorial Day Concert in Washington DC on PBS. They gave a web address that you may want to check out. She found the Memorial Day History and the Purpose very interesting.
In Flanders Fields
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"In Flanders Fields" is one of the most famous poems about World War I, and has been called "the most popular poem" produced by the war. It is written in the form of a French rondeau. Canadian physician and Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae wrote it on May 3, 1915, after he witnessed the death of his friend, Lieutenant Alexis Helmer, the day before. The poem was first published on December 8, that year in Punch magazine.
The poppies referred to in the poem grew in profusion in Flanders where war casualties had been buried and thus became a symbol of Remembrance Day. The poem is part of Remembrance Day solemnities in Allied countries which contributed troops to World War I, particularly in countries of the British Empire that did so.
The poem "In Flanders Fields" was written upon a scrap of paper upon the back of Colonel Lawrence Moore Cosgrave, during a lull in the bombings (as recited to his grandson).
In Flanders Fields
In Flanders fields the poppies glow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
Memorial Day 2009 - May 25
They Earned Our Freedom and We Should Never Forget It
Before You Go - Tribute to World War II Veterans
Memorial Day Tribute
See many other excellent Patriotic posts in the Patriotism Forum
The American Cause on Memorial Day
By: Lee Wishing
Friday, May 22, 2009
"Based upon our observations of American soldiers and their officers captured in this war, the following facts are evidenced,” a foreign intelligence officer wrote. "There is little knowledge or understanding, even among United States university graduates, of American political history and philosophy ... of safeguards to freedom; and of how these things supposedly operate within their own system."
Believe it or not those words weren't written by an Al Qaeda operative. They were written during the Korean War (1950-1953) by the chief intelligence officer of the Chinese People's Volunteer Army in North Korea. In a 1957 response to these remarks, Russell Kirk wrote, "Many Americans are badly prepared for their task of defending their own convictions ... against the grim threat of armed ideology.... And in our age, good-natured ignorance is a luxury none of us can afford."
As we pause this Memorial Day to honor those who died to preserve our freedom, it's a good time to take stock of the threats to our nation. I believe that the greatest threat is internal decay that results from a lack of knowledge of those things that make America great.
The Chinese officer's gloating inspired Kirk to write a primer on American political, economic and civil principles titled The American Cause. Kirk defined the American cause as "the defense of the principles of a true civilization. This defense is conducted by renewing people's consciousness of true moral and political and economic principle...." He continued, "The American cause is not to stamp out of existence all rivals, but simply to keep alive the principles and institutions which have made the American nation great."
America's modern enemies might have rejoiced in data released last fall by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute demonstrating that 71 percent of Americans in its survey failed a basic civic literacy test with an average score of 49 percent. Incredibly, the average elected official in the sample scored just 44 percent.
Last Saturday, I heard a stirring commencement address by Judge Alice Batchelder of the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals advocating the form of education that Kirk supported—education that will turn back the wave of national civic ignorance and strengthen our country. Following that address, an attorney and I discussed the deplorable treatment of the U.S. Constitution by the executive and congressional branches of the federal government that led to the approval of a 2009 budget deficit of $1.84 trillion. "Grotesque," lamented the attorney. We talked about how many of the world's countries have had multiple constitutions while America has had just one. We concluded that America operates from a new unwritten or "parallel constitution" that allows the government to spend whatever amount it desires without restraint by constitutional, moral or economic principle. This new constitution, birthed by civic illiteracy, is fostering the decay of a great nation—$60 trillion in deficits and unfunded liabilities, a failing educational system, breathtaking federal government interference in business, an out of control Federal Reserve that is putting the American dollar and the world's economic system at great risk, and social programs that promote family breakdown and dependence on government. And we have governments in Washington, D.C., and in many of our state capitals that want even more.
Kirk's book was written as an intellectual bulwark against the foreign threat of Soviet communism. He was concerned that we could not defend ourselves from foreign enemies unless we understood what we were defending. "Our danger at home is that a great part of the American people may forget that enduring principles exist," he said, foreshadowing today's striking civic illiteracy. "Our danger abroad is that the false principles of revolutionary fanaticism may gain such an influence as to wound us terribly."
Unfortunately, the domestic threat of civic illiteracy makes foreign threats more potent. There is hope, of course. But it will require work. The task that Kirk assigns us is "to keep alive the principles and institutions which have made the American nation great." Principles like religious, political and economic liberty. And institutions like limited constitutional government and strong churches and families. The educational institutions that give me the most hope today are the private Christian schools, classical Christian schools, the home schooling movement, and private colleges that have a hefty Western civilization curriculum viewed through the lens of Scripture. There is hope in America because a vigorous remnant of institutions is working to preserve our core principles. We should enlist in their work.
As we prepare to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country this Memorial Day weekend, let us fulfill our duty to the American cause. Kirk says, "We do not need to invent some new theory of human nature and politics; but we do need, urgently, to recall to our minds the sound convictions that have sustained our civilization and our nation. Our enemies, no matter what resources they may have, cannot defeat us if we are strong in our own principles."
Lee S. Wishing is administrative director of the Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College.
Tribute to America's Veterans
"Those Honored Dead"
"Why do you fly the flag today?"
My Grandson wants to know.
I fly it for the graveyards
Where the countless crosses grow.
I fly the flag for children
Whose fathers are a name.
A half-remembered memory
of a face within a frame.
I fly it for the families
of sons and daughters lost.
They know the price of liberty
How terrible the cost!
I fly the flag for veterans
who lost their youth in blood.
And saw their comrades slaughtered
in the carnage and the mud.
I fly it for the ones who marched
In cadence off to war
To close their eyes forever
Upon some foreign shore.
I fly the flag for grief poured out
Upon a granite wall.
The laying-on of hands that heals
The scars within us all.
I fly it for the sound of Taps---
That melancholy tune
That lays to rest those honored dead
Who always die too soon.
Copyright 1994 Marion G. Mahoney
Taken from the USA Survival News - A Publication of America's Survival, Inc. 5/25/2009
I received this as an email from a friend and thought it would be good to share with you on this Memorial Day.
This Memorial Day I will try to reflect on how my great, great, great, grandfather Jackson gave his life in the American Civil War, how my great, great, grandfather David Myers lost the sight in one eye, the hearing in one ear, nerves that were attributed to a bout with smallpox and various infections that caused his hearing and sight impairments...Grandpa Jim who survived WWII and my father who is still living and with us served during the Cuban Blockade as a marine on the USS Okinawa... I will reflect on Uncle Ivan, who I never got to know who served in Korea...Uncle Cleo and Uncle Gerald who left part of their soul behind as a casualty of Vietnam, who came home missing a part of themelves and always having that haunted look that says that they have seen the worst that mankind had in them, and who both later died of cancer after being exposed to heaven only knows what kinds of chemicals.
I will reflect on James Reason Bowie, who died at the Alamo...and all the rest who held off Mexico's General Santa Ana as long as they were able, bravely giving thier own lives. Jim Bowie was kin to Martha Bowie who was an ancestor to my grandma Myers.
I will reflect on those in my family tree who left their native lands looking for a better life here, either for freedom or just a chance to have something. I will reflect on those who taught their kids about Jesus, and heaven and reading the Bible, and how Grandma Buck was always a spiritual warrior raising up her children...and how Grandma Myers took us to church, handed us money for the collection plate, teaching us to be cheerful givers, and if we weren't there was a flyswatter sitting on the other side of her...
Our lives are formed on those who came before and what we do in this time will help form those that follow...set an example, or just simply inspire...We learn from those we are supposed to be remembering. As we remember our veterans of our armed services, let us also remember those who fought for us in other ways, and may we always honor those who have given us a light of hope, faith, and freedom along the way