I hope all of you have a great Memorial Day tomorrow! This day has been celebrated since the Civil War as folks wanted to honor those who lost their lives winning our country’s independence and defending our freedoms. They called it Decoration Day as they decorated graves, had parades and enjoyed each others’ company. Over the years, this day has expanded the honors to all people who have died and in 1971, President Nixon made it a national holiday and calling it Memorial Day.
The immense cost of the procuring and maintaining of our freedoms was made graphic to me in a recent news report about preparations for this year’s events at Fort Snelling, Minnesota. I was surprised to find out that the national cemetery there has 219,000 graves. Realizing that some of those graves may be some who died as living veterans, still, Fort Snelling being just one of 134 others…well, you do the math.
I teach Memorial Day lessons every year to every class I teach (I’m an elementary music specialist so I teach kindergarten through fifth grades) because I want them to remember that when they look at the red, white and blue, they are remembering that the privileges they have in this country, (stars in a blue field), the advantages we enjoy as a free people (white stripes) and that these privileges and advantages come to us at a tremendous price–lots and lots of blood (red stripes). Few of us have escaped being touched by the loss someone in the military.
As we celebrate yet again, don’t let the beginning of summer overshadow the gravity of what it took to gain what we have in this country–millions and millions of family members and friends.
Happy Memorial Day, 2016!
Bye for now.