First a letter whose opinion I share and then some:
Memorial DayBy Rep. Don Young
May 25, 2008Sunday
Every year at this time we enjoy a three-day weekend in honor of Memorial Day. But how often do we actually stop and remember why we have the extra day off from work? This country is home to millions of courageous men and women who have served their country with honor and bravery, and Alaska is where many of them call home.
As we enjoy the nice weather and time with our loved ones this weekend, our American soldiers are overseas fighting those who wish to do us harm. We sleep safe and sound at night because of the freedom they provide us. Many of these heroic men and women, and their families, have given their all in the name of freedom and in the defense of the United States, and for that, there are not enough words or sentiments to thank them.
We speak often of supporting our troops, but support alone is not enough. We must also respect them, respect their families, and respect the good work they do.
Take time this weekend to remember our brave men and women overseas, and those who have gone before us in the name of liberty. If you see a service-member, stop and thank them for all they do for us each and every day and say a prayer for their safety.
contact or donate to our troops
From the bottom of my heart, thank you to all of our men and women of the Armed Services, and thank you to your families. You epitomize the American spirit. God bless you and God bless our fine country. That was from Representetive Young. I would like to express my own cocern and appreciation for my sons, god am I thinking of you, and for all the men and woman serving us and being abused by Bush!
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from Memorial Day Weekend)
This article is about the holiday in the United States.
Federal (and most U.S. states)
Honors men and women who have died in military service
Last Monday in May
May 26, 2008
May 25, 2009
Memorial Day is a United States Federal holiday observed on the last Monday of May (in 2008 on May 26). Formerly known as Decoration Day, it commemorates U.S. men and women who perished while in military service to their country. First enacted to honor Union soldiers of the American Civil War
Many people observe this holiday by visiting cemeteries and memorials. A national moment of remembrance takes place at 3 p.m. US Eastern time. Another tradition is to fly the U.S. flag at half-staff from dawn until noon local time. Volunteers usually place an American flag upon each grave site located in a National Cemetery.
In addition to remembrance, Memorial Day is also used as a time for picnics, barbecues, family gatherings, and sporting events. One of the longest standing traditions is the running of the Indianapolis 500, which has been held in conjunction with Memorial Day since 1911. Some Americans also view Memorial Day as the unofficial beginning of summer and Labor Day as the unofficial end of the season. The national "Click It or Ticket" campaign ramps up beginning Memorial Day weekend, noting the beginning of the most dangerous season for auto accidents and other safety related incidents. The U.S. Air Force "101 Critical Days of Summer" begin on this day as well. Many Americans use Memorial Day to also honor any family members who have died, not just servicemen.
Memorial Day formerly occurred on May 30, and some, such as the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (SUVCW), advocate returning to this fixed date, although the significance of the date is tenuous. The VFW stated in a 2002 Memorial Day Address, "Changing the date merely to create three-day weekends has undermined the very meaning of the day. No doubt, this has contributed a lot to the general public's nonchalant observance of Memorial Day." Hawaii's Senator Daniel Inouye, a World War II veteran, has repeatedly introduced measures to return Memorial Day to its traditional day since 1987.
In addition to national observances, many individual communities hold memorial observance for fallen soldiers who were from that town by having a ceremony in a church or town memorial park. It is also common for fire and police departments to remember and honor members lost in the line of duty. Towns often hold a memorial day parade to remember those people. Participation in such a parade is by community organizations such as members of the local emergency services and their vehicles, Rotary Clubs, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and bands from the local high school or church groups. Communities may also hold a town-wide picnic barbecue at a local park in which the whole town is invited to attend.
Following the end of the Civil War, many communities set aside a day to mark the end of the war or as a memorial to those who had died. Some of the places creating an early memorial day include Charleston, South Carolina; Boalsburg, Pennsylvania; Richmond, Virginia; Carbondale, Illinois; Columbus, Mississippi; many communities in Vermont; and some two dozen other cities and towns. These observances eventually coalesced around Decoration Day, honoring the Union dead, and the several Confederate Memorial Days.
General Logan had been impressed by the way the South honored their dead with a special day and decided the Union needed a similar day. Reportedly, Logan said that it was most fitting; that the ancients, especially the Greeks, had honored their dead, particularly their heroes, by chaplets of laurel and flowers, and that he intended to issue an order designating a day for decorating the grave of every soldier in the land, and if he could he would have made it a holiday.
Logan had been the principal speaker in a citywide memorial observation on April 29, 1866 at a cemetery in Carbondale, Illinois, an event that likely gave him the idea to make it a national holiday. On May 5, 1868 in his capacity as commander-in-chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, a veterans' organization, Logan issued a proclamation that "Decoration Day" be observed nationwide. It was observed for the first time on May 30 of the same year; the date was chosen because it was not the anniversary of a battle. The tombs of fallen Union soldiers were decorated in remembrance of this day.
Many of the states of the U.S. South refused to celebrate Decoration Day, due to lingering hostility towards the Union Army and also because there were very few veterans of the Union Army who lived in the South. A notable exception was Columbus, Mississippi, which on April 25, 1866 at its Decoration Day commemorated both the Union and Confederate casualties buried in its cemetery.
The alternative name of "Memorial Day" was first used in 1882 but did not become more common until after World War II and was not declared the official name by Federal law until 1967 . On June 28, 1968 the United States Congress passed the Uniform Holidays Bill which moved three holidays from their traditional dates to a specified Monday in order to create a convenient three-day weekend and for the first time recognized Columbus Day as a federal holiday. The holidays included Washington's Birthday (which evolved into Presidents' Day), Veterans Day and Memorial Day. The change moved Memorial Day from its traditional May 30 date to the last Monday in May. The law took effect at the federal level in 1971 . After some initial confusion and unwillingness to comply at the state level, all fifty states adopted the measure within a few years, although Veterans Day was eventually changed back to its traditional date. Ironically, most corporate businesses no longer close on Columbus Day or Veterans Day, and an increasing number are staying open on President's Day as well. Memorial Day, however, has endured as one holiday during which most businesses stay closed because it marks the beginning of the "summer vacation season," as does neighboring Canada's Victoria Day which occurs on the prior Monday.
In literature and music
The southeastern U.S. celebrates Decoration Day as a day to decorate the graves of all family members, and it is not reserved for those who served in the military. The region observes Decoration Day the Sunday before Memorial Day. Jason Isbell of the rock band Drive-By Truckers chronicled such an event in his epic ballad "Decoration Day," which is also the title cut to the eponymous album.
Charles Ives's symphonic poem "Decoration Day" depicts the holiday as he experienced it in his childhood, with his father's band leading the way to the town cemetery, the playing of Taps on a trumpet, and a livelier march tune on the way back to the town. It is frequently played with three other Ives works based on holidays as the second movement of A New England Holidays Symphony. Memorial Day USA
I am going to post this tribute to our war dead, to my sons and all our men and women serving and those that have served in the past. I have to take some time out for a cook out etc. before my better half revolts but I will try to stop in on occasion. You all have a nice day!