Memorial Day 2005: We Remember

By May 30, 2005General

Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on May 5, 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic. Some blog readers may remember it being called, “Decoration Day”, a day when faithful citizens decorated the graves of the fallen. Today we offer a few snippets in honor of this great and somber day:

Here’s a link to the history of Memorial Day, from General Logan’s designation to modern times. The Department of Veterans Affairs Memorial Day website is also quite good, offering much in the way of history, resources and events.

— In 2000, a “National Moment of Remembrance” was established, to occur at 3 p.m. local time (i.e., wherever you are) for one minute, to honor those who have given their lives in defense of this great country. The White House Commission on Remembrance “promotes the spirit of unity and remembrance” as captured by Memorial Day and the National Moment of Remembrance. We hope you’ll take a minute at 3 p.m. today to pause, and to remember.

— Those of you who have not yet experienced it should someday behold the Rolling Thunder tribute to POW’s and MIA’s. The best vantage point is any overpass on US 395 North in Virginia as the thunder of a thousand motorcycles rolls into Washington for their annual tribute. Here’s a link to a story on this year’s event. You should also make it a point to go to The Wall (the Vietnam Veterans Memorial) on Memorial Day. It is a holy place. For too long, too many angry and misguided folks took out their angst about that war on the soldiers who did their duty when called. The dedication of the wall some 20 years ago was an important and belated turning point in honoring the brave men and women who served there.

— Finally, here’s a link to “In Flanders Fields” a short, powerful and timeless poem written during World War I, and a link to “Taps” which will be played across this great nation many times today in memory of those who gave their lives because they understood that a threat to freedom anywhere is a threat to freedom everywhere. They deserve our enduring gratitude and our prayers.

This Memorial Day, we remember them all. May they rest in peace.