while thinking about Memorial Day, I found this great site. It has the origin of Memorial Day on it. In a bit I will post a copy of the original order establishing Memorial Day as a Day of remembrance of our fallen war heroes.
For myself I find this a day to remember those who have served and passed on, but I also think of and pray for those who have served and are still with us, and those who are serving now.
Our family is getting together for our annual BBQ tradition. Some kind of meat (it's steak this year) and a plethora of salads, corn on the cob, cold Lemonade, and ice cream. We will laugh and eat and have a general day of fun and relaxation. Some years we head out to a parade, or maybe out to see some local fireworks. In general we, as a family, see it as a day of merry making. That's great. I'm so glad we can spend some time together now that even the grandchildren are almost grown.
But I also want us to remember why we are able to spend the weekend Celebrating.. traveling, camping, swimming, eating BBQ, watching parades, watching fireworks, and eating ice cream.
We can only celebrate because for well over 200 years, men and women from all walks of life have felt the call of Freedom. They have seen that a free people, and a free country are worth fighting and dieing for. They were willing to heed the call to bear arms. What heroes they are.
Also for well over 200 years we have, as Mothers, Fathers, brothers, sisters, husbands, wives, children and a Nation, mourned their loss and honored their memory.
This Memorial Day I hope you will find a few quiet moments to reflect on The Greatness of our Country and will agree with me; that our Greatness comes from our God and from the Greatness of our Military Men and Women, who are willing, at any cost, to make us and keep us free.
|The original of the following document written in his own hand June 1868 by General Logan is in the Logan Family Papers in the Library of Congress. General Logan was then serving in Congress as a Representative from Illinois. We have preserved spelling and punctuation as in the original.|
On the 5th of May 1868 as commander in cheif of the Grand Army of the republic, I issued to our comrades throughout the land the following order:
"Head quarters Grand Army of the Republic. Adjutant Generals office No 444, 14th Street Washington, D.C. May 5th 1868.
General Orders No 11.
I. The 30th day of May 1868 is designate for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades, who died in defense, of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every City, Village, and hamlet, church yard in the land. In this observance no form of ceremony is prescribed, but Posts and comrades will in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit.
We are organized, comrades, as our regulations tell us for the purpose, among other things ' of preserving and strengthining those kind and fraternal feelings, which have bound together the soldiers, sailors and marines who united to suppress the late rebellion.' What can aid more to assure this result than by cherishing tenderly the memory of our heroic dead, who made their hearts a barricade between our country, and its foes, their soldier lives were the revilee of freedom, to a race in chains, and their deaths the tattoo of rebellious tyranny in arms. We should guard their graves with sacred vigilence, all that the consecrated wealth and toils of the nation can add to their adornment and security, is but a fitting tribute to the memory of her slain defenders. Let no wanton foot tread rudely on such halowed grounds. Let pleasant paths invite the coming and going of reverent vistors and fond mourners. Let no vandalism of averice, or neglect, no ravages of time, testify to the present, or to the coming generations, that we have forgotten, as a people the cost of a free and undivided Republic.
If other eyes grow dull, and other hands black, and other hearts cold, in the solemn trust, ours shall keep it well as long as the light, and warmth, of life remain to us. Let us, then, at the time appointed gather around their sacred remains, and garland the passionless mounds above them with the choicest flowers of Springtime: let us raise above them the dear old flag they saved from dishonor. Let us in this solemn presence renew our pledges to aid and assist those whom they have left among us, a sacred charge upon a nations gratitude the soldiers and sailors widow and orphan.
II- It is the purpose of the commander in cheif to inaugarate this observance with the hope that it will be kept up from year, to year, while a survivor of the war remains, to honor the memory of his departed comrades. He earnestly desires the public press to call attention to this order, and lend its friendly aid in bringing it to the notice of comrades in all parts of the country in time for simultaneous compliance therewith.
III- Department commanders will use every effort to make this order effective"
By order of John A. Logan" . Commander in Cheif"