Memorial Day, 2014 *Open Thread*


It is that time of year when we formally acknowledge, and pay tribute to, those who give their all while in service to our great nation. It is a day of remembrance to all those who sacrificed their lives for us, and for our freedoms.

The history of Memorial Day is one worth repeating:

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in service of the United States of America. Over two dozen cities and towns claim to be the birthplace of Memorial Day. While Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966, it’s difficult to prove conclusively the origins of the day.

Regardless of the exact date or location of its origins, one thing is clear – Memorial Day was borne out of the Civil War and a desire to honor our dead. It was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11. “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,” he proclaimed. The date of Decoration Day, as he called it, was chosen because it wasn’t the anniversary of any particular battle.

On the first Decoration Day, General James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery, and 5,000 participants decorated the graves of the 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers buried there.

The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war).

It is now celebrated in almost every state on the last Monday in May with Congressional passage of the National Holiday Act of 1971 (P.L. 90 – 363). This helped ensure a three day weekend for Federal holidays, though several southern states have an additional separate day for honoring the Confederate war dead: January 19th in Texas; April 26th in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi; May 10th in South Carolina; and June 3rd (Jefferson Davis’ birthday) in Louisiana and Tennessee. […] (Click here to read the rest, including how Red Poppies became associated with Memorial Day.)

To think it has somehow morphed from what it was supposed to be, a day of remembrance for those who died in service to the nation, to cookouts and the kickoff of Summer.

Well, we remember here. And thanks to a friend at Facebook, we remember with this moving speech from Ronald Reagan. I admit, it was new to me since I refused to listen to Reagan back in my Yellow Dog Dem days, but this was, and is, a powerful speech. It captures perfectly the reason we observe Memorial Day:

Isn’t that something? And I can NEVER watch the flag-folding ceremony by the Marines (and other branches) without tearing up. The dignity, the solemnity, the respect, with which they carry out their task to honor the service member (or veteran) lost is moving indeed.

And so, on this Memorial Day, we remember those who were killed while wearing the uniform of our beloved country. We thank them for their ultimate sacrifice, thank their families and friends for the sacrifice, too. We do not take lightly this gift, this treasure, they have bestowed upon us. We honor them, we remember them, we keep them in our hearts, this day and every day.

And if you are so inclined, please consider joining with IAVA (Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America) in a moment of silence at 12:01 pm (EST). From the IAVA site:

This Memorial Day, IAVA will lay a wreath before the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery at 12:01 EDT. Gather your friends and family across the country and pause with us for a national moment of silence to honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

Thank you.

This is an Open Thread, friends.


35 Responses to “Memorial Day, 2014 *Open Thread*”

  1. kenoshamarge Says:

    Thanks for that video Rev – it made me tear up as it always does.

    Somehow for all his vaunted “speechifying” Obama and his lauded speeches never do that. I believe it’s because Obama doesn’t speak to the best that is in us and doesn’t speak to our hearts. He may be a “great” speechifier”, although he doesn’t impress me, but Reagan was the “great communicator “and that did.

    Without the heart – the speeches are just boilerplate. Maybe that’s the difference between a politician and a leader. I don’t pretend to know. I can only speak of how I, as one American, feel about it.

    Here’s another video that speaks of those we honor today. I hope most remember that. It isn’t national BBQ day as Foxylady reminded us and it isn’t just another day off to go shopping. It is a day to honor those who have given so much and sometimes given their lives. God bless them all.

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      Thanks so much, Marge. And you are so right – Reagan’s speech was stirring, and I am certain his voice cracked with emotion as he mentioned those who went into battle for us. When you really mean it, and it matters, that comes through. Big difference between that and reading a TelePrompTer with a speech some twenty-something wrote with just some flowery rhetoric. And again, I am embarrassed I had not heard it until just recently.

      Absolutely, this is a day of remembrance and honor, and it is important to keep it so.

      I am so thankful for those who are willing to don the uniform for us, and who are willing to give their all.

      Thank you, too, for the excellent video. It was very powerful indeed. Wow…

      And I am thankful for you wonderful folks!

  2. cindyindie Says:

    Thank you, Cuz, for the wonderful post, and moving speech of Ronald Reagan’s! Superb!

    Here is a recording of the one and only Fred Waring and his Pennsylvanians….My college Glee Club director (and Dean of Fine Arts) was a member of this group in the early 1930’s.
    The first song, “Where in the World But in America”, was written by Fred Waring for General Eisenhower’s presidential campaign, just FYI….
    Enjoy the day, everyone!

    • kenoshamarge Says:

      Thank you for this song – I don’t remember ever hearing it before but will certainly hear it again now that you’ve made us a gift of it.

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      Thank you so much for this wonderful sing, Cuz! What a fantastic piece. And I love the connection to your glee club director, too. How cool is that?

      Love it, thank you!

  3. foxyladi14 Says:

  4. mcnorman Says:

    I also would not listen to Reagan back then. Today, life is very different. Priorities are much more meaningful.

    • kenoshamarge Says:

      Just as science isn’t stagnant, and grows and changes, so do human beings. I was such a pig-headed Dem back in those days that I seldom listened to Reagan. Now it’s like finding a treasure trove of thoughtful speeches and inspiring messaging. Was he a cany pol? Of course he was. But he inspired and uplifted. Obama divides and little of what he says inspires.

      I am just glad that I was able to grow and learn and change. We should all be proud of that. While at the same time kicking ourselves in the butt for not paying more attention and thinking things through better back then.

      It certainly is better to have so much access to new and different information and new and different “friends” to talk to than it was then.

      • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

        Great point, Marge, and I am right there with you. When I heard this speech, the American pride, the emotion in Reagan’s voice, I realized anew how narrow was my world view while believing it was just the opposite.

        Yes, thank heavens we humans continue to evolve throughout our lives!

      • mcnorman Says:

        Isn’t that what life is all about? Growth, continuous throughout will make for a fulfilling life.

        • kenoshamarge Says:

          It’s what it should be. Unfortunately not everyone manages to do it. Some stay in the same rut most or all of their lives. A loss for them and those around them.

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      Ain’t that the truth, mcnorman.

  5. kenoshamarge Says:

    I know that Helen is a big Victor Davis Hanson fan, as I am, so I thought I would post this in her honor since she’s busy moving. We miss you Helen!

    Lord Obama
    by Victor Davis Hanson

    If you take nothing else from this long article remember this line:

    The media is not just overwhelmingly hard left, but hard left with a chip on its shoulder that its own views are neither accepted by the majority nor usually implemented by government.

    That statement explains a lot. To me anyway

  6. foxyladi14 Says:

    The Hammer!!!! 😀

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      Love him. Thanks for the great video!

      • kenoshamarge Says:

        I like Krauthammer and often love what he says, especially his take-downs of Obama.

        But when it comes to foreign policy he’s a bit too neo-connish for me.

        • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

          I don’t always agree with him either, Marge, but I do love how his mind works and how he lays out his arguments. Brilliant man, that is for sure! 🙂

  7. foxyladi14 Says:

    Blame CNN 🙄

  8. Cindyindie Says:

    Cuz—For 2 days now, I haven’t been able to click on the “stars” to rate everyone’s comments…Sorry…..I’m sure it’s my damn computer’s fault…!!
    But just wanted you, Foxyladi, McNorman, Marge, etc. to know that I like your comments!
    And yes, Helenk is missed!

  9. kenoshamarge Says:

    Great “Club For Growth” ad again Mark Pryor.

    FYI the bird is a Blue and Gold Macaw – just like my Katie.

  10. foxyladi14 Says:

    Scolding a reporter!!! 🙄

  11. kenoshamarge Says:

    Here’s an article I consider very important to women. Because it seems to me that if we aren’t careful, these self-centered fools will end up speaking for all of us. They sure as hell don’t speak for me.

    Brava Leslie Eastman for writing this. I too am embarassed by these twits.

    Remembering the young men killed in UCSB rampage

    By Leslie Eastman

    These men’s lives were just as valuable as the women’s lives.

    In the annals of news I have personally covered, I have rarely been so embarrassed by some members of my own sex as I have been this week, in the wake of the spree killing that took the lives of six young students attending the University of California – Santa Barbara.

    Among the most egregious examples of inanity offered as sophisticated opinion on this tragedy:

    •Feminist activist Gloria Allred diagnosing Elliot Rodger’s mental illness as male chauvinism.

    •Slate contributor Brittney Cooper, an African-American instructor who teaches Women’s and Gender Studies and Africana Studies at Rutgers, blaming “White Guy Killer Syndrome.” [Note to Cooper – Rodger had a Chinese mother].

    •Feminist Washington Post film critic Ann Hornaday decried Hollywood sexism as the reason for the stabbings and shootings.

    These pundits would like to ignore several salient points in their mad scramble to promote their toxic worldviews. However, they seem to ignore the fact that four talented young men, guiltless of any race or gender sin these women decry, are dead.


    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      Excellent points all. And this rush to “diagnose” as sexism or anything other than mental illness right off the bat is troubling, especially by those who are NOT qualified to diagnose anything at all. Last time I checked, being an attorney is NOT the same as being a psychologist/psychiatrist. IOW, none of these folks mentioned above seem to have the proper credentials to make any determinations in this regard, especialy the FILM critic.

      WOW. All of the losses are just that – losses. To make one death of a young person mean more than another, one future lost more meaningful than another, when they were all killed at the same time seems a bit perverse, if you ask me…

      • kenoshamarge Says:

        Couldn’t agree more! I loathe these people who would make of women perpetual “victims”. What happened to “I am woman hear me roar”? Has that be completely replaced by “I am woman hear me whine”?

        • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

          Marge, I continue to be astonished at how far back women have gone in a very short amt of time. This whole “Life of Julia” thing, and women demanding others take care of their reproductive needs, is the exact opposite from the fight many of us waged in the ’70’s for women to be seen as equals, independent, and standing on our own two feet.

          It just boggles the mind to see where we are now…

          • kenoshamarge Says:

            I am so afraid that the left will do to women what they have done to blacks – that is make then dependent little victims who spend a life on government assistance and thus NEVER fulfill their full potential.

            Anyone who has ever watched a mother raises her family on her own, working two jobs to put a roof over their head and food on the table knows how strong we can be. We may not have the muscles of a man but we have a will of steel if we use it.

            The left uses people when they are in need and makes that need permanent thus making a voting block that will support them to get what it “needs”. And soon comes to believe it deserves. That is a road map for a nation in decline and I so hope that women, real women with real guts who are more concerned about the future of their children and their country, will see through the people who would make them subservient and ultimately irrelevant.

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