Memorial Day 2010

I celebrate Memorial Day every year - usually by going to a cookout at a family member's house. We laugh, enjoy each other's company, listen to the race and eat some great food. The kids play and have a grand old time. But I got to thinking and I wasn't even really stopping to consider what we were celebrating. So I'm a making a point to pause this year (and in the years to come) and think about those who have died so I can live the life I want in the country I love. They keep us safe, fight for us and have one of the most important jobs in the world. Here's some facts on Memorial Day you may or may not have known:
  • Memorial Day is a federal holiday that's observed every year on the last Monday of May. It's formally known as Decoration Day.
  • It was first created to honor fallen Union soldiers of the Civil War and was expanded years after that.
  • Most people celebrate by visiting cemeteries and memorials. It's also unofficially observed as the beginning of summer and the weekend of the Indy 500, hence all the cookouts, camping and BBQ's.
  • Traditionally, there is a national moment of remembrance that takes place at 3 P.M. local time and United States flags are flown at half-staff from dawn until noon local time.

picture source

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

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