Remembrance, Please Pause for One Minute

(Read in :02)“It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God such men lived” ~ George S. Patton

Memorial Day has been celebrated on the last Monday in May since shortly after Civil War. It’s a day of remembrance, a uniquely American holiday with somber, thoughtful origins. The day was established to honor those who had died serving our country.

It was originally called Decoration Day and some old-timers still call it that. At the first Decoration Day, General James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery, and 5,000 participants decorated the graves of the 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers buried there. It is nearly impossible for me to wrap my head around 20,000 graves. Can you imagine the sight?

And then it became a reason to party

Memorial Day became a Federal holiday in 1971 and that’s how it became a three day weekend. It’s considered the kickoff of summer and all the fun that goes with it. I’m a big fan of summer, picnics, boating and three-day weekends and I’m not here to take the sugar off anyone’s cereal, believe me! Let’s just stop to remember why we celebrate.

In 2000 Congress established the National Moment of Remembrance. It’s only a moment, just sixty brief seconds. The idea is to stop what we’re doing at 3:00 local time on Memorial Day to pause in an act of national unity for a duration of one minute. Our military is at work for us on this day and every day and they deserve our respect. I urge you to pause and think about how fortunate we are to live in freedom.

Carry the Load

I’m always heartbroken when I hear stories of veterans who lost limbs or sight or their lives. I can’t watch a commercial for Wounded Warriors without tears. Recently I learned about an organization formed in 2011 called Carry the Load. In closing, I simply invite you to watch this video about the founder and how it came to be. It delivers a very important message.

“A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.”~Joseph Campbell

On Memorial Day and every day, God Bless America! See you Thursday!

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