“And I’m proud to be an American,
where at least I know I’m free.
And I won’t forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.”
Memorial Day is a day to honor those who have died in service protecting our country. The day was originally called Decoration Day because it began as a day to decorate the gravesites of those fallen soldiers. I am ashamed to say that I did not know this. I knew that it was a day to honor the fallen soldiers, but not the true origin and meaning.
After reading about the day at www.usmemorialday.org, I learned that in 1971, Congress passed a bill to change Memorial Day to the last Monday in May to make a three day weekend. Many feel that this has made the country very passive about the observance of the day. In 1999, a bill was introduced to change the day back to May 30th as it was originally set, to focus more on the traditional observance of the day. Since then there has been no further action on the bill.
As I’ve been thinking about this, I realize that I fall into the category of people that have not observed the true meaning of the holiday. This weekend I’ve hung my flags and plan to teach my children about the true meaning of the day, and how we are blessed to live in this country. I want to create new traditions that focus on what it truly means to be an American and all those that died to give us our freedom and to protect it.
What are some of the traditions you have in your home to honor and celebrate this day? Please share them so we can all do our part to bring about the reverence this day deserves. If interested, you may visit the web site listed above to learn more information about contacting your representatives to support the bill to return Memorial Day to May 30th.
So fly your flags, decorate a gravesite, and if you see or know any members of our armed forces- say thank you. Realize what a blessing it is that we can “Come Home.” Some of them never got that chance.
Tip: Visit the web site www.usaflag.org, to learn proper flag etiquette.