on the meaning
and origin of this day
I cannot help
but wish so strongly
that such a day
never needed to be.
That our brave citizens..
..our loved ones....
never had to leave
and pick up guns
and see death
And yet I know
the truth is that there has been war
since the beginning of time
There has really never been total peace.
I was still in high school
when my cousin, Patrick, died in Viet Nam.
I remember how it hurt my young heart.
He and I had exchanged letters
while he was there
and when word came he was
I felt so much fear for
everyone I knew that was there.
My brother, a Marine,
was not placed in harms way...
I am and was so thankful for that.
But a nephew, also a Marine,
has just returned from Afghanistan
a few days ago.
One can only imagine
what he may have witnessed.
So here are a few facts.
Memorial Day was officially proclaimed
on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan,
national commander of the Grand Army
of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11,
and was first observed on 30 May 1868,
when flowers were placed on the graves
of Union and Confederate soldiers
at Arlington National Cemetery.
The first state to officially recognize
the holiday was New York in 1873.
By 1890 it was recognized by all
of the northern states.
The South refused to acknowledge the day,
honoring their dead on separate days
until after World War I
(when the holiday changed from honoring
just those who died fighting in the
Civil War to honoring Americans who died
fighting in any war).
It is now celebrated in almost every State
on the last Monday in May.
I think my hope
has been the same since the 70's