Even the name of the holiday practically begs us to remember. Memorial Day, originally called “Decoration Day,” was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, as an effort to honor those who fell during the Civil War. In his General Order No. 11, Logan declared this, “The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land.” The date was chosen because it wasn’t the anniversary of any particular battle.
As one US Representative said, “…years later, Memorial Day remains one of America’s most cherished patriotic observances. The spirit of this day has not changed – it remains a day to honor those who died defending our freedom and democracy.” General George A. Patton reminds us that we should thank God for men who lived willing to die for their country.
While many may see the day as simply an opportunity for a 3-day weekend, may we never forget the day’s original purpose – to honor the dedication, patriotism, bravery, and sacrifice of our soldiers (and their families).
For the freedoms we enjoy as a result of their service and sacrifice, we say, “Thank You.” –Dave
“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13)
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