Thursday, May 31, 2012
Catching some rays … enjoying the beach, the barbecue, the hamburgers and hot dogs … going shopping … watching the bikers on their motorcycles … enjoying popcorn or nachos with a good movie …
All of those are good, fun and enjoyable things to do, and many of us engaged in these fun activities this past weekend, or on Monday.
But, the “real” Memorial Day was long observed on May 30.
Confederate Memorial Day in South Carolina is May 10, other dates are set aside in other Southern states, and around the country the Union veterans from the War Between the States celebrated “Decoration Day” at various times. Later, those observances changed to Memorial Day on May 30.
In 1968, President Lyndon Johnson signed a bill establishing federal holidays on Mondays close to the real holiday date, in order to give more people a three-day weekend.
Recreation and relaxation are both good for the soul, but also good for the soul of the nation is truly honoring and reflecting on those who have given their lives in the service of their country.
Over the past few days members of veterans’ organizations, fraternal groups and Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts have held observances to honor the sacrifices of our military from all wars.
We are largely past the divisiveness of North and South from the War Between the States.
That’s a good thing.
It’s also a good thing to hold in our hearts the duty … honor … country … and sacrifice of so many who have fought, bled and died that we today have the freedom to speak, worship, assemble — and yes, even ignore — what our fellow countrymen have bequeathed to us.
It’s important though that we take the opportunity on Memorial Day and every other day to thank a veteran, honor the war dead, and strive to uphold the freedoms bought for us at such great price.