Wednesday, May 23, 2007
This is a heavy post. I am about to sound preachy, so beware.
Memorial Day is coming and a bazillion people will be in their backyards BBQ'ing, drinking beer and enjoying the extra day off. I urge you to stop for a few moments and remember what Memorial Day is about.
Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service.
Traditional observance of Memorial day has diminished over the years. Many Americans nowadays have forgotten the meaning and traditions of Memorial Day. At many cemeteries, the graves of the fallen are increasingly ignored, neglected. Most people no longer remember the proper flag etiquette for the day. While there are towns and cities that still hold Memorial Day parades, many have not held a parade in decades. Some people think the day is for honoring any and all dead, and not just those fallen in service to our country.
There are a few notable exceptions. Since the late 50's on the Thursday before Memorial Day, the 1,200 soldiers of the 3d U.S. Infantry place small American flags at each of the more than 260,000 gravestones at Arlington National Cemetery. They then patrol 24 hours a day during the weekend to ensure that each flag remains standing.
Memorial Day is not about BBQ.
It's not about an extra round of golf.
It's about remembering our Fallen Heroes. Those who paid the ultimate sacrifice. Those whose blood has freed our country time and time again. Please pay your respects.
As for me, I am headed to ANC (Arlington National Cemetary) tomorrow to photograph the flags going in. I am the daughter and the wife of a war veteran. I will honor those who served and died. I hope you do the same.