Memorial Day: What is it?

Discussion in 'Military' started by shintao, May 27, 2011.

  1. shintao
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    shintao Take Down ~ Tap Out

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    If there were a day to fill the churches in wailing and weeping, the grave yards in solemn silence, the heart in sadness and grief, that day would be Memorial Day when we remember our fallen hero's and the ultimate sacrifice they made for America and all Americans.

    Time and again in the killing fields I held my brothers in my arms and watched the life drain from their eyes. They were kids, America's Warriors who were cut down by the sickle in the fields of Vietnam.

    No one should be obligated or forced to feel what I do for their freedoms. In this land of plenty the fallen made it possible for you to think about anything, anyway you want to. They died so your children can walk down concrete sidewalks and play in grassy filled parks. So you could enjoy the best communes with your fellow man on this day of remembrance. It is not a day about me, it is a day about our fallen Warriors.

    ===
    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 (passed by Congress with the National Holiday Act of 1971 (P.L. 90 - 363) to ensure a three day weekend for Federal holidays), though several southern states have an additional separate day for honoring the Confederate war dead: January 19 in Texas, April 26 in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi; May 10 in South Carolina; and June 3 (Jefferson Davis' birthday) in Louisiana and Tennessee.

    To help re-educate and remind Americans of the true meaning of Memorial Day, the "National Moment of Remembrance" resolution was passed on Dec 2000 which asks that at 3 p.m. local time, for all Americans "To voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a Moment of remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence or listening to 'Taps."



    Memorial Day History
     
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  2. Wicked Jester
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    Wicked Jester Libsmackin'chef

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    Sadly, there are people out there who don't fully understand it.....To them it's just a day off and a BBQ.......Sad to be sure.
     
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  3. SFC Ollie
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    SFC Ollie Still Marching

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    I remember when it was called Decoration Day.

    At any rate, what I wonder is how many of the patriotic people on this board will be attending or participating in any of the Thousands of memorial Day Ceremonies around the country.

    I will be in three of them and my grand niece (9 years old) will be singing the National Anthem at one of the services.
     
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  4. Wicked Jester
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    Wicked Jester Libsmackin'chef

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    I'll get up, put out the Flag, and at about 11 AM we'll head over the hill to our old neighborhood in Westlake Village where they have an annual service at the local cemetary, where several vet's from the area are buried. Including the only one from the area who was killed in Iraq.....They do it up. The local legion and VFW do their things, and there is always a flyover by vintage WW2 aircraft, followed by a missing man flyover by Navy Sikorsky's.
     
  5. The Gadfly
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    The Gadfly Senior Member

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    The Ones Who Gave It All

    From the greatest of the cities, to the humble village square,
    you can see the veterans gather, while the flag floats on the air.
    It is not for us we gather to answer duty's call;
    No, this day we're called to honor,
    the ones who gave it all.

    For once when we were younger, in a place so far away,
    we had out own installment of freedom's bill to pay.
    Where a weapon and each other were the only friends we had,
    and we shared it all as brothers, the good times and the bad.

    We shared a little laughter, and we shared a friendly bet;
    sometimes we shared a can of beer or one last cigarette.
    We all had planned a future, we thought of going home,
    and having bright tomorrows, when the fighting all was done.

    Then we held our dying brothers; watched helpless as they fell,
    when the fire swept around us, in a bloody man-made hell.
    Every life was precious; none did not want to live;
    but they laid on freedom's altar everything they had to give.

    They aren't just faded photos or a name engraved in stone;
    for to us they were our brothers and we loved them, every one.
    What is left to us, the living, as a sacred honored call,
    is always to remember all the ones who gave it all.

    Now we are the voices of those who nobly sleep,
    in the darkened awesome stillness, of the ocean's silent deep,
    of the ones whose bones are buried on some unknown foreign strand,
    or rest in quiet fields of stone here in our own dear land.

    Ours is a grateful nation, and a grateful people too;
    but still sometimes forgetful, of her sons and daughters, too.
    So to the living veteran, reminder duty calls,
    to be certain they remember the ones who gave it all.

    So all of you Americans, who see us standing here,
    Please take a moment to reflect, or offer up a prayer.
    Please, step up and join us, for this is your day too.
    For all of those who died for us, died for your freedom too.

    It doesn't really matter,if you never faced the storm,
    if you never served our country, or wore the uniform.
    The sacrifice for all our rights was gladly, freely given;
    an act of love, an act of grace, like that which comes from heaven.

    You need not earn one single right, that they preserved for you;
    that's our nation's solemn promise, and they died to keep it true.
    Don't ever take it lightly, don't let it ever be lost;
    if you're tempted to abuse it, remember what it cost.

    "Duty, Honor, Country" - let those be your watchword too.
    Live out freedom's promise, in everything you do.
    America may stumble, but don't ever let her fall.
    Do that in loving memory of the ones who gave it all.



    Dedicated to the 58,000, and all the other American men and women who gave all their tomorrows in the service of America.
     
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  6. SFC Ollie
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    SFC Ollie Still Marching

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    In Flanders Fields
    By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
    Canadian Army

    In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
    Between the crosses row on row,
    That mark our place; and in the sky
    The larks, still bravely singing, fly
    Scarce heard amid the guns below.

    We are the Dead. Short days ago
    We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
    Loved and were loved, and now we lie
    In Flanders fields.

    Take up our quarrel with the foe:
    To you from failing hands we throw
    The torch; be yours to hold it high.
    If ye break faith with us who die
    We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
    In Flanders fields.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. LadyGunSlinger
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    LadyGunSlinger Conservative Babe Supporting Member

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    Remembering and honoring our countrymen who sacrificed all.. God bless those who mourn the loss of a hero... We honor their lives with our thoughts, prayers, and say thank you for a debt that can never be repaid.
     
  8. SFC Ollie
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    SFC Ollie Still Marching

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    As we raised the flag back to full staff at the one cemetery today and played "To the Colors" a lady said to us, "Thanks My Dad heard that" I looked at the head stone, it was a past commander we had just done a funeral service for in the last 2 months.

    His daughters words made it all worth it.
     
  9. LadyGunSlinger
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    LadyGunSlinger Conservative Babe Supporting Member

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    Wow.. that's heartbreaking and yet such a beautiful story.. This day is solemn one to those who honor our fallen. My daddy just retired from the Air Force. We went to a cemetery where my cousin who was also in the AF, was killed in a helicopter crash a few years back. We sang and held hands, praying together. I remember the playing of taps at his funeral and while I was soo proud, my heart shattered in to a million pieces. He was only 29 and such a wonderful person.. He wouldn't have changed a thing. God bless our heroes!
     
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  10. The Gadfly
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    The Gadfly Senior Member

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    This one is the lyrics to a song written by Chuck Rosenberg, who was a Sgt. with the 5th SF Group at Bragg back in the day. It was written after the vets from Desert Storm shared their homecoming with the Vietnam vets (I'll never forget that!) I've got a recording of this that I always play on Memorial Day (even if it does make me tear up every time)

    Well, Joe, we finally got our parade;
    and we marched down the route of Johnny Glenn!
    How the people cheered! How the ticker tape flew!
    We all played, remember when...
    Remember when...we lined up the boots on the LZ,
    and the chaplain said a word from the hill;
    and standing in each pair, was a ghost, and a dream,
    of things that might have been, and never will.

    So here's to Dai-uy Joe; couldn't miss the show; his one and only tour.
    The youngest Captain, in the Airborne Infantry;
    I guess you'll always be....twenty-three.

    So Joe, we had a drink on the house;
    and then we had a night on the town.
    The Thanks of a grateful Republic were ours;
    now it's back to the same old run-around.
    Some of us have kids now, older than we,
    when we swore to "uphold and defend".
    Some try to remember, and some try to forget;
    but for most, it will never quite end.

    So here's to Dai-uy Joe; couldn't miss the show; His one and only tour.
    The youngest Captain, in the Airborne Infantry;
    Joe, I guess you'll always stay.....twenty-three.
     

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