5/26/10

Pause at 3:00 on the 31st

Memorial Day signals the unofficial beginning of the summer travel season, and home or beach barbeques. Work-weary Americans look forward to the three-day weekend celebration; but Memorial Day is about so much more.

On Memorial Day, we remember and honor those who died while serving America in uniform. Unlike Veteran’s Day, when we “remember those who fought for our country in America’s wars,” on Memorial Day, we remember those who gave “the last full measure of devotion.”

The holiday began with the Union soldiers of the American Civil War. In 1868, members of the Grand Army of the Republic asked General John Logan for permission to decorate the graves of their fallen comrades with flowers. The first official observance was in Arlington National Cemetery—a procession through the graves, placing flowers and American flags on each grave, and singing hymns and songs in the honor of the fallen. Because of this, the day of remembrance was originally called “Decoration Day.”

The official date of the celebration has been the last Monday in May since 1971, but few today honor the dead with solemn remembrance and tears (except those who have experienced the pain of losing loved ones). Yet, every American owes a debt of gratitude to those who bravely paid the ultimate price in the service of their country.

My heart is torn to see Americans take their freedoms lightly, forgetting the price of those freedoms. There will be picnics and parades, but it’s time for a pause. In December, 2000, a National Moment of Remembrance resolution was passed by the U.S. Congress to encourage Americans to observe Memorial Day at 3 p.m.—pausing in their activities as a token of respect for those honorable men and women in uniform who sacrificed their lives for our country.

So pause on May 31st at three o'clock., and tell your children why. It’s a powerful choice to pass this message on to the next generation.

4 comments:

crazydaisy said...

As usual, great post. A great reminder. I wish everyone could read this! I'll pass it on!

Dawn Wilson said...

Thanks, CD! I appreciate that.

Marja said...

Great post Dawn, I'll link it on facebook!

Dawn Wilson said...

Thanks, Marja! We girls have got to stick together to get messages of hope and help out to people!