Monday, May 26, 2014

Mindful Memorial Day

Most of us know this day is not about barbecues, three-day weekends, and the start of summer.  It's about remembering those men and women who have given the ultimate sacrifice for this country.  Those who died protecting our freedom, so that we may continue to have our barbecues and three-day weekends. 

When I started writing this post, I had intended to give you a brief history of Memorial Day.  However, I found so many different versions--from sites like,, and, and others--that I lost count of the cities and towns purported to be the originators of the holiday, along with the numerous dates given for which event.  ( does state that the exact date and location is unclear.)  With all the different information, I became frustrated.  Suffice it to say that the Civil War and a desire to honor our dead (since every soldier that died in the war was a US citizen, no matter what side they fought for) is the reason for the birth of Memorial Day, initially called Decoration Day because they would decorate the graves of fallen soldiers.

I have several family members and friends who served this country.  While my (biological) father passed away while on active duty, he was not killed in action, so I'm sure if he falls in with those buried at Arlington.  But that doesn't matter to me.  And that's not what this is about.

Flag presented for James E. Behrmann, Airman 1st class

Today, take the time to remember those who gave their lives so that we, as American citizens, may live free.  Thank a soldier, airman, marine, sailor, or national guardsman for his or her service.  They may still be with us, but they may know others who no longer are.  They may be survivors baring the burden of loss.  If you know people who have lost a family member honored by Memorial Day, take the time to comfort them, thank them for their sacrifice.  They will live with the loss for the rest of their lives.

by Lee Teter, c.1988

To put it in perspective. . .


I'll leave you with a few quotes:

"Heroes never die.  They live forever in the hearts and minds of those who would follow in their footsteps."                                                                                                                                                                                          ~Emily Potter

 "Their devotion, their valor and their sacrifice will live forever in the hearts of their grateful countrymen."                                                                                                                                                                                         ~General John J. Pershing
 "Words are even more feeble on this Memorial Day, for the sight before us is that of a strong and good nation that stands in silence and remembers those who were loved and who, in return, loved their countrymen enough to die for them."                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   ~Ronald Reagan

 "It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died.  Rather we should thank God that such men lived."                                                                                                                                                                                               ~General George S. Patton

Thank you to the souls now watching over us from above, who gave their lives so that we may live free.

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