Today is Memorial Day. While some confuse it with National BBQ Day, it’s supposed to be a day when we reflect on the sacrifice of those who died in battle defending our nation. I was curious about the origin of the day, and came up with this:
Three years after the Civil War ended, on May 5, 1868, the head of an organization of Union veterans — the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) — established Decoration Day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. Maj. Gen. John A. Logan declared that Decoration Day should be observed on May 30. It is believed that date was chosen because flowers would be in bloom all over the country.
While the first observances of the day are disputed, in 1966 Congress declared Waterloo, NY the birthplace of Decoration Day. Stores were closed and residents flew flags at half-mast. The whole town honored and commemorated those who had served in the Civil War. You can read more of the history of the day at the Veterans Affairs site.
According to Wikipedia, over 1.3 million US service men and women have died in conflicts since 1775. Another 1.5 million have been wounded. Today is the day we pay tribute to that large body of individuals.
As church technical artists, some of our days can be stressful. Some of them are frustrating. We occasionally have a bad day at the office. Today is a good day to keep in perspective that a bad day at the office for us pales in comparison to what our troops face.
To those who have lost loved ones on the battlefield, today we mourn with you. To those who have or are currently serving, we salute you. Your service frees us to do what we do. Thank you for your service.