Memorial Day 2016

Marietta National Cemetery 053010a copy

Memorial Day.

This has become my image I post each year for Memorial Day. Why? I like it and I haven’t captured one I like better. Let’s talk about Memorial Day for a moment. I have had lots of folks come thank me for my service, as well as others, and wish us a great holiday. That is so gratefully appreciated. Veterans should always be thanked for their service in my opinion, and we even have our own Holiday…Veteran’s Day on November 11. It is really important to realize and understand Memorial Day is for those who made the ultimate sacrifice in their service to our country. It is to honor those who died protecting those whom survive’s rights. They gave their lives so we can have the freedoms we take for granted everyday, not privileges, but rights. It is your right to burn the flag, but each time someone does, to me, it is a direct disrespectful act to the over 1.3 million U.S. Military folks who died in combat in service to this country. We have accepted that Memorial Day is the “unofficial” start of summer. We rush out to scoop up bargains that retailers have for sale on the day to honor heroes. Too often we get together with friends to grill burgers, hotdogs and other food without every pausing to thank those who gave their lives so we can do just that.

Memorial Day wasn’t even recognized as that until 1971. Memorial Day started as Decoration Day to honor those who died in the Civil War. The north and south celebrated on different days and realized the significance of recognizing those who paid with their lives. It wasn’t until 1966 that President Johnson declared Waterloo, NY to be the birthplace of Memorial Day because they closed all the businesses and the community went to the Cemetery to decorate the graves. Finally in 1971, Congress declared Memorial Day a National Holiday.

Today, stop what you are doing, look around at the folks with you and imagine what it would be like, for some you don’t have to imagine, if one of the people weren’t there. Think about what it could be like to never see someone who left to give you your rights and never returned. Say a prayer and give thanks, because if your Veteran is sitting at the table beside you, they were one of the lucky ones who returned, 1.3 million tables have had an empty place setting. God Bless America and the rights we have been given, they are worth paying the ultimate price to preserve.

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