" Cowards die many deaths, the brave only one"
Table of Contents
Memorial Day: See Below
To all my fellow Vets:
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your loyal service. I am one of many who enjoy, every day, the freedoms that Veterans have preserved for us by giving up their own personal freedoms for a time. One day a year seems like a small tribute to those who suffer 365 days of physical and / or emotional discomfort. I hope that you find on this day and all future days .......... peace.
Name and date
The preferred name for the holiday gradually changed from "Decoration Day" to "Memorial Day", which was first used in 1882. It did not become more common until after World War II, and was not declared the official name by Federal law until 1967. On June 28, 1968, the Congress passed the Uniform Holidays Bill, which moved three holidays from their traditional dates to a specified Monday in order to create a convenient three-day weekend. The holidays included Washington's Birthday, Veterans Day and Memorial Day. The change moved Memorial Day from its traditional May 30 date to the last Monday in May. The law took effect at the federal level in 1971. The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (SUVCW) advocate returning to the original date, although the significance of the date is tenuous. The VFW stated in a 2002 Memorial Day Address:
Changing the date merely to create three-day weekends has undermined the very meaning of the day. No doubt, this has contributed a lot to the general public's nonchalant observance of Memorial Day.
After some initial confusion and unwillingness to comply, all 50 states adopted Congress's change of date within a few years. Memorial Day endures as a holiday which most businesses observe because it marks the unofficial beginning of summer. This role is filled in neighboring Canada by Victoria Day, which occurs either on May 24 or the last Monday before that date, placing it exactly one week before Memorial Day.
Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries and memorials. A national moment of remembrance takes place at 3 p.m. local time. Another tradition is to fly the flag of the United States at half-staff from dawn until noon local time. One of the longest-standing traditions is the running of the Indianapolis 500, an auto race which has been held in conjunction with Memorial Day since 1911. It runs on the Sunday preceding the Memorial Day holiday. The Coca-Cola 600 stock car race has been held later the same day since 1961. The Memorial Tournament golf event has been held on or close to the Memorial Day weekend since 1976.Matthew Dennis, Red, White, and Blue Letter Days: An American Calendar (2002)
The National Memorial Day Concert takes place on the west lawn of the United States Capitol. The concert is broadcast on PBS and NPR. Music is performed, and respect is paid to the men and women who died in war.
I watched the flag pass by one day, It fluttered in the breeze.
A young Marine saluted it, And then he stood at ease..
I looked at him in uniform So young, so tall, so proud,
With hair cut square and eyes alert He'd stand out in any crowd.
I thought how many men like him Had fallen through the years.
How many died on foreign soil How many mothers' tears?
How many pilots' planes shot down? How many died at sea
How many foxholes were soldiers' graves? No, freedom isn't free.
I heard the sound of Taps one night, When everything was still,
I listened to the bugler play And felt a sudden chill.
I wondered just how many times That Taps had meant "Amen,"
When a flag had draped a coffin. Of a brother or a friend.
I thought of all the children, Of the mothers and the wives,
Of fathers, sons and husbands With interrupted lives.
I thought about a graveyard At the bottom of the sea
Of unmarked graves in Arlington. No, freedom isn't free.
Enjoy Your Freedom & God Bless Our Troops