Memorial Day ~ In Loving Memory
Observance of Memorial Day
Exactly where and when Memorial Day began, is debated among historians. While US history is important, it is not the most important issue. What is paramount is that we set aside one day out of each year to join together to honor and remember our soldiers.
Our family has had someone who served during just about every American War. I personally remember 3 great uncles who served in WWII. We have momentoes from some who served during the civil war and we have documentary proof that another family member was a soldier in the Revolutionary War. My great aunt is a member of the DAR and would love to see the rest of us continue in her footsteps.
With such a family history, I think anyone could understand why Memorial Day is important to our family.
Unchallenged US History
"By the late 1800s, many communities across the country had begun to celebrate Memorial Day and, after World War I, observances also began to honor those who had died in all of America's wars.
In 1971, Congress declared Memorial Day a national holiday to be celebrated the last Monday in May."
"Today, Memorial Day is celebrated at Arlington National Cemetery with a ceremony in which a small American flag is placed on each grave."
Direct quote from: History.com
Flags fly at Half Staff on Memorial Day
In Loving Memory
On September 22, 2007, my brother died after a long battle with cancer. It was a year before we could even think about placing a monument on his grave. We simply could not sit down and face the decisions about size, color, words, etc. Finally, in March of 2009, after finalizing our monument plans, my parents and I delivered the specs to the monument shop. We personally picked out the perfect granite headstone and departed with the understanding that the monument would be set before Memorial Day.
The local veterans put flags on every marked military grave site in honor of service of the deceased. We had missed the first year and we wanted to make sure we allowed sufficient time to ensure the headstone placement before another Memorial Day passed.
My brother's years in the Army were extremely important to him. In his last few days of life, he was emphatic about making sure that he had a proper military funeral, so we knew that little flag placed every year on Memorial Day would be important to him.
Unfortunately, another Memorial Day passed before the headstone was placed. It was actually set in July.
While we can not do anything about the two missed flags, the monument will be there on the next Memorial Day and no doubt, a veteran will pass and place a flag on his grave site.
He was a veteran. Thus, on Memorial Day, I remember my brother.
His Years of Service
Unfortunately, I do not know very much about my brother's years of active duty. He did not talk about his military life when he was home. Most of the time, he joked a lot and just tried to keep all of us laughing. I don't believe he wanted to focus on that part of his life when he was with us or perhaps he just thought it was not suitable dinner conversation.
What I do know, is that he was an expert marksman, a talent that I am certain served him well in the army. I know he was extremely dedicated and loyal to defending the US if needed and also to defending his loved ones.
He will not be forgotton!
Photo is an excerpt of the letter I received from the US Army.
Fly Your Flag on Memorial Day
© 2009 Cynthia Sylvestermouse