MEMORIAL DAY

Memorial-Day-Images

It doesn’t take a hero to order men into battle. It takes a hero to be one of those men who goes into battle.

Norman Schwarzkopf quotes(U.S. Army officer who commanded Operation Desert Storm, b.1934)

 

From what I’ve learned, it’s apparent that the need for honoring our vets came from the women. Those who survived. It also began during and after the American Civil War. Both sides had a need to honor their dead. The women would mourn over the death of their husbands and lovers, sons and brothers, fathers and daughters. They’d decorate the graves. This is why it was first called: Decoration Day. Leave it to the women to start something to honor their heroes who’d stolen their hearts.

A hymn published in 1867, “Kneel Where Our Loves are Sleeping” by Nella L. Sweet carried the dedication “To The Ladies of the South who are Decorating the Graves of the Confederate Dead” (Source: Duke University’s Historic American Sheet Music, 1850-1920). While Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966, it’s difficult to prove conclusively the origins of the day.

 

The spontaneous gatherings of the women morphed into Memorial Day, and it was used as a means to unite the country, and was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic. It was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war).

It is now celebrated in almost every State on the last Monday in May (passed by Congress with the National Holiday Act of 1971 (P.L. 90 – 363) to ensure a three day weekend for Federal holidays).

In 1915, inspired by the poem “In Flanders Fields,”Moina Michael replied with her own poem:

We cherish too, the Poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led,
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies.
She then conceived of an idea to wear red poppies on Memorial day in honor of those who died serving the nation during war.

Ms. Michael was the first to wear one, selling poppies to her friends and co-workers with the money going to benefit servicemen in need. Later a Madam Guerin from France was visiting the United States and learned of this new custom started by Ms.Michael and when she returned to France, made artificial red poppies to raise money for war orphaned children and widowed women.

This tradition spread to other countries. In 1921, the Franco-American Children’s League sold poppies nationally to benefit war orphans of France and Belgium. The League disbanded a year later and Madam Guerin approached the VFW for help. Shortly before Memorial Day in 1922 the VFW became the first veterans’ organization to nationally sell poppies. Two years later their “Buddy” Poppy programwas selling artificial poppies made by disabled veterans. In 1948 the US Post Office honored Ms Michael for her role in founding the National Poppy movement by issuing a red 3 cent postage stampwith her likeness on it.

The moral of this story: Behind every great man is an even greater woman!

You can read more about me on my website: Barb’s Books

The long month of January

IMG_2727

January is the Latin word for door.  It literally means the beginning.  You open a door and enter, which is exactly what we do for the new year.  January brings cold, wind, and all sorts of turbulent weather across the land.  The old north wind blows strong and hard up here in the northland of Minnesota.  It chills you to the bone and it doesn’t matter how many layers of clothing you wear, but I like it.  I truly do!

The snow twinkles across the yard.  I can look out my window and watch the wild animals explore the woods.  The Mississippi River is frozen for the deer to meander across.  I have seen a deer walk down the opposite side of the river, and climb up our side of the river.  The squirrels are busy scampering and foraging for nuts. While I keep an eye on the animals from inside my warm house, I realize that it’s chilly, and time to get cozy.

It’s time to cuddle up with a good book or two along with a nice warm cup of hot chocolate, coffee, or something else.  I prefer hot chocolate but when I settle in with a crochet throw around me and sip my hot chocolate, I tend to fall asleep.  When my nap is over, it seems it’s time for me to fix supper.

Reluctantly, I get started in the kitchen and have to set my book aside.  I know that I’ll return to it later.

The long winter evenings are peaceful and charming.  I look forward to them when summer arrives because the short evenings don’t allow read time nor a nap.

What do you enjoy about the month of January?

 

You can check out the books I’ve written on my website and don’t forget to sign-up for the newsletter!

http://www.barbaraschlichting.com