Memorial Day 2015

Middle TN Veterans Cemetery

Middle TN Veterans Cemetery, May 24, 2015

Growing up as the daughter of a career US Army Officer…military holidays were marked with much pomp and circumstance. Depending on the event there would be parades, ceremonies, wreath laying, reading of names, the playing of taps, demonstrations by the soldiers, flyovers, military band concerts, etc. We always were immersed in the true meaning of the holiday. I thought everyone lived that way.

As an adult living in the civilian world, I find that it’s easy for us to “forget” why we have this long weekend. We are bombarded with retail sales events, as the unofficial start to summer – people head to the beach or the lake, there are many outdoor family gatherings and BBQ’s. We need to be intentional about remembering and honoring the reason for this extra day off.

Memorial Day is about remembering and honoring those who died for the freedoms we enjoy in the United States of America. I hope each and every American will pause and reflect on this at some point today. And be grateful.

My husband and I drove out to the Middle Tennessee Veterans Cemetery yesterday. It’s a beautiful, serene setting in the rolling hills of TN. We happened to arrive while a Memorial Day Ceremony was happening at the main buildings. We drove through the cemetery in peace and quiet, marveling at the beauty of the American flags adorning each and every grave. The main thoroughfare had larger flags waving in the breeze. It was a beautiful, yet somber sight. Families were visiting individual graves. Some of those graves are fresh. The reason for the holiday was abundantly clear. Some gave all. Some didn’t come home.

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

May God Bless America!

YOLO!

-Jan

Memorial Day soapbox…

For those of you that don’t know…I am an “Army Brat”…my dad was a career “lifer” and retired from the US Army when I was about to graduate from high school. I’ve always said my blood runs OD green. That’s “olive drab” for those of you not in the know. My brother followed in my father’s footsteps and became a career soldier himself – he retired in 2010.

I am very proud of both of them…but this post is not about honoring them…the picture is simply to provide you with my personal military lineage. The manner in which I grew up, living on military posts, moving with my father’s change in assignments, living through my father’s deployments and tdy’s, all are woven into the fabric of “me”. I spent many a military holiday on parade fields witnessing how our military honors it’s members.

I love to see posts on facebook and twitter honoring our military members. They have and do collectively provide great service and sacrifice for our country and our freedoms; however, I become dismayed when it is apparent that the general American public does not understand our military related holidays.

This weekend, is “Memorial Weekend”, Monday, May 28th of this year is the federally recognized “Memorial Day”.

While the general populace embraces Memorial Weekend as the “official start of summer”, I find it disheartening that the majority of posts and comments supporting our military clearly do not understand the true meaning of Memorial Day.

So…I’ve dedicated my facebook and twitter posts this weekend to educating about Memorial Day…if even one person learns what the holiday is all about…then I will have been successful.

Simply put, Memorial Day is about honoring and remembering the FALLEN. Those who gave the ultimate sacrifice, their LIFE, while serving our country.

I encourage you to read the information about the meaning of Memorial Day here.

Memorial Day is a federal holiday observed annually in the United States on the last Monday of May.[1] Formerly known as Decoration Day, it originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the fallen Union soldiers of the Civil War. (Southern ladies organizations and southern schoolchildren had decorated Confederate graves in Richmond and other cities during the Civil War, but each region had its own date. Most dates were in May.) By the 20th century Memorial Day had been extended to honor all Americans who have died in all wars. Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.[2]    ~wikipedia

There is also great information and history here: http://usmemorialday.org/

I challenge you to take a few minutes out of this splendid weekend that “opens” summer…and learn just a little bit about what Monday’s holiday is all about. Then share the information. There are many, many families who are dealing with the neverending grief of losing a loved one who was serving this wonderful country known as the USA.

As American’s we owe it to them to never, ever forget that sacrifice.

Yolo,

Jan