The Last Monday in May

Posted on 24 May 2009


 

memorial-day

For many Americans, Memorial Day is celebrated as the unofficial beginning of the summer season.  For others, it has a much deeper meaning and is not celebrated so much as commemorated

 

At the conclusion of the American Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln instituted Decoration Day to honor the Union soldiers who had died during the conflict.  Over the next several years, many communities in both the North and the South designated days to honor their Civil War dead.

 

In 1868, General John A. Logan, in his capacity as commander-in-chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, a veterans’ organization, issued a proclamation that Decoration Day be observed nationwide.  In 1882, the alternate name, Memorial Day, was first used, although the designation was not commonly used until after World War II and did not become the official name of the holiday until 1967.  Although traditionally observed on May 30th, the Memorial Day holiday was changed to the last Monday in May by Congress in 1968.

 

Each year across America and other parts of the world, Americans who paid the supreme sacrifice are honored by a grateful nation.  Many Americans display the flag of our country in the towns and cities across the land.  American flags and wreaths are placed at the gravesites of fallen heroes in Arlington National Cemetery and cemeteries across the United States and other places in the world.

 

The mournful sound of “Taps” echoes around the world,

 

Day is done,
Gone the sun
From the lakes
From the hills,

 

From the sky
All is well,
Safely rest
God is nigh

 

Fading light
Dims the sight
And a star
Gems the sky,

 

Gleaning bright
From afar,
Drawing nigh
Falls the night.

 

Thanks and praise,
For our days
Neath the sun.
Neath the stars.

 

Neath the sky.
As we go,
Then we know,
God is nigh.

 

As the bugle calls die amongst the echoes, many of us who wore the uniform defending our country pause to remember our fallen comrades and relive a time in our lives when we were a part of history.  Still others, friends and family of those who died in our nation’s service – whether that service had been in Europe, Asia, North Africa, or the Middle East – remember their loved ones and the sacrifices they made to preserve freedom and our way of life.





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One Response to “The Last Monday in May”

  1. WW ll Vet says:

    I found this article thoughtful and compelling but it looks like I am the only person who read it. I guess Memorial Day to America means the opening of Summer feativities. What a shame!


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