Happy Memorial day, 2020! As the United States of America is slowly starting to open up again from the quarantine, no doubt families will be having cookouts and enjoying the great outdoors all across the nation today. Mine will be.
As a sober woman today, I’m able to truly embrace all the freedoms available to me as an American. Today I honor those men and women who fought and died for my opportunity to choose freedom.
I have a good friend who’s son is in the navy and she recently posted on social media the difference between the following holidays which honor our servicemen and women:
To be honest, I don’t think I truly knew the difference between these holidays. 😉
I pray that this post finds you healthy and safe during this unique year.
Additionally, I pray you are able to enjoy your family to some capacity today.
Furthermore, I pray that you are able to take some time today to reflect on those men and women who never were able to take off their uniforms.
Remembering Our Fallen Heros
I’m grateful for the freedom I have in America. I’m certain at times I unintentionally take it for granted. It’s easy to do that when it’s all we’ve ever known.
The older I get I try to really reflect on what the holidays truly mean. Today is a solemn day. Sure, we, as Americans typically celebrate it by cooking out and enjoying the outdoors in some fashion. And, there’s nothing wrong with that!
Others, who’ve lost someone close to them, may visit the cemeteries.
However, I urge all of us Americans, at some point today to take a pause and have a moment of silence. Actually, each year on Memorial Day our country has a moment of silence at 3:00 pm local time.
If you are a praying person, pray for the families who’ve lost a loved one who died serving our country or better yet, reach out to these folks.
Lastly, teach the young kiddos in our lives what Memorial Day means and share that moment of silence with them.
Interesting Facts About Memorial Day (Formerly, Decoration Day)
How about some interesting facts from history.com about this special holiday…
Did you know that this day was originally called Decoration Day? Yep, and Memorial Day first became an official federal holiday in 1971 (two years before my presence graced the earth).
Do you know which war claimed the most American lives? Before I did my research I didn’t know either. 😉
The Civil War did. To me that is crazy that our own internal conflict took so many lives. Anyway, after the Civil war ended in 1865 the country needed to establish national cemeteries.
It became a springtime custom for many Americans to decorate the fallen soldier’s graves with flowers while reciting prayers.
There is uncertainty about where this tradition originated from. However, the federal government has declared Waterloo, New York as the official birthplace of Memorial Day. Waterloo was chosen because on May 5, 1866 they actually closed businesses and held a community-wide event where residents decorated the graves of soldiers.
General John A. Logan called for a national day of remembrance on May 30, 1868. James Garfield (buried here in N.E. Ohio) made a speech at Arlington Cemetery on this first Decoration Day.
Originally Decoration Day, now Memorial Day, was to honor those who died fighting in the Civil War. However, after World War I, the holiday evolved to honor soldiers who died in all wars.
Apparently, it was celebrated on May 30th for years until in 1968 Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. Did you know there was such a thing? I sure didn’t!
This act, which went into effect in 1971, ensured that Memorial Day would be the last Monday of May so that federal employees would receive a 3-day holiday weekend.
Inspiring Quotes to Honor Those Who Died Fighting for Our Freedom
I love a good quote and there is no shortage of good quotes apropos for this holiday. So I’d like to leave you with some of my favorites to ponder…
“Home of the free, because of the brave.” – Unknown
“May we never forget freedom isn’t free.” – Unknown
“If you want to thank a soldier, be the kind of American worth fighting for.” – Unknown
“A hero is someone who understands the responsibility that comes with his freedom.” –Bob Dylan
“It doesn’t take a hero to order men into battle. It takes a hero to be one of those men who goes into battle.”- Norman Schwarzkopf
“Freedom makes a huge requirement of every human being. With freedom comes responsibility.” –Eleanor Roosevelt
“America without her soldiers would be like God without His angels.”- Claudia Pemberton
“Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of readiness to die.” – G.K. Chesterton
“Those who have long enjoyed such privileges as we enjoy forget in time that men have died to win them.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt
“So long as the memory of certain beloved friends lives in my heart, I shall say that life is good.”- Helen Keller
“Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.”- Mark Twain ♥ (my favorite)
Sources for the quotes:
I love this country and I value my freedom.
As a person who has gotten sober from drug addiction, I lived many years in a self-imposed prison. From the day I made the choice to surrender to Christ and commit to a life of sobriety, I’ve learned to walk in more and more freedom every day.
Additionally, since getting sober, I’ve become more appreciative of what I have as an American. Today I’m able to honor those who’ve gone before me to fight for the freedoms I enjoy.
Today I honor those who fought for me though they didn’t know me.
They choose to fight the fight knowing it might (and did) take their lives. #ForeverGrateful
Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash