Guest post from Sue Hawley, author of Peg Shaw series of cozy mysteries! Find more about Sue on her website, Sue Hawley Author.
Do you know the history of Memorial Day? While bar-b-ques, swimming, and family gatherings are fun, the reason we celebrate this day is somber. While honoring fallen soldiers may not be at the top of our lists as we prepare the food for family members and dig bathing suits out of winter storage, it is worth our while to take a few moments to acknowledge the purpose of Memorial Day.
The roots of Memorial Day (also known as Decoration Day) go back to the Civil War. The placing of flowers on soldiers graves was mostly in the South due to the fact most of the graves were located there. Other sources insist the tradition began in the North and Confederate graves were not allowed to be decorated with flowers. Then Mother Nature stepped in. A storm brewed and blew through the cemetary scattering flowers on ALL the graves, both North and South. Is it true? It doesn’t matter because obviously we still need to learn that lesson. Today we honor all who gave their lives serving their country, no matter what war they were involved in.
As a veteran, this day has more meaning to me than even Veteran’s Day. Memorial Day recognizes those fallen men and women who sacrificed their lives for their country. Yes I served, but there was no true sacrifice involved with my time in the military. The Vietnam War was at a close, and in spite of the Cold War, we were basically a country at peace.
Sure, the food was lousy, the uniforms outdated (I wore the same uniform as my mother wore during World War II) and I didn’t have an option of where I was stationed. Living in barracks with almost 200 other women had its fair amount of challenges, including the fact that some women are absolute slobs. But those were inconveniences not sacrifices.
While I may have worn the uniform, I am not counted among those who gave the ultimate sacrifice. I salute them with all my heart.
Take a few moments at 3pm local time to sacrifice a few seconds to the memory of these heros.