Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Right Blogfest: A MEMORIAL DAY TRIBUTE

Two Sisters From The Right have recently joined a group of conservative bloggers who have formed THE  RIGHT BLOGFEST, wherein we all choose the same topic and write on our own sites, each giving a different perspective on the subject.  We proudly join Raised On Hoecakes , Steve Bussey.com and Patriot's Corner in  celebrating one of our nation's most important holidays, Memorial Day.  Please take the time to read their posts as well.

Memorial Day was officially observed as  a national holiday and celebrated on May 30, 1868.  It was proclaimed as such when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National  Cemetery.  The first state to recognize it as a national holiday was New York in 1873, and by 1890 most northern states had followed suit.  It took the former Confederate States a while longer to celebrate it.  It began as day to recognize  all who had died fighting in the Civil War and was later extended to remember all Americans who had died in all wars.

In times past, Memorial Day was traditionally set aside as a day of national mourning.  Businesses and banks closed, schools were not in session, and towns held celebrations and parades to commemorate those who had paid the ultimate sacrifice in the service of their country. In those days people would take the time to visit the cemeteries, spruce up the graves and place an American flag along with the flowers to signify that there rested a veteran who had died for his country.

As a child I remember ladies standing downtown Newark selling red paper poppies and I didn't realize what it meant. I always gladly bought a poppy and wore it proudly without  really knowing why, but I felt patriotic.

Recently I researched it's meaning.  The idea of the red poppy was created as a symbol of remembrance for those who had died in wars, by an American teacher named Moina Michael.  She had been inspired by the poem In Flander's Fields, written by Lt. Colonel John McCrae, M.D. of the Canadian Army, and she wrote a poem of her own.  Her poem "We Shall Keep The Faith" can be read here.  One stanza in her poem reads as follows:


Red Field Poppy
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,

But lends a lustre to the red

Of the flower that blooms above the dead

Although groups like the VFW, The Boys and Girl Scouts, and many other military affiliated groups continue the traditional observance of Memorial Day, some have confused Memorial Day with Veteran's Day, and others think of it as a day to go to the cemetery and put new flowers on all the graves, regardless of how those interred there had perished.

Somehow, in our contemporary society the true meaning of Memorial Day has often has been forgotten, and the American spirit of honoring the war dead has been lost as well. Where once stores closed and townspeople gathered to honor  the fallen, merchants now hold Memorial Day Sales. The day of observance has become a three day weekend to party and have fun.  It's not a bad thing to do, but it is not the intended purpose for this day of observance.

This Memorial Day, the sales are still advertised, people are still planning their gatherings, the three day weekend is still part of the agenda, but there seems to be a welcome spirit of renewal.

The Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have taken the lives of thousands of America's young men and women.  Some of us define today's military as our country's best.  The brave and courageous who join an all volunteer military, go off to strange and far away lands to fight and die in order to keep the war away from our shores.  They leave their families behind, and travel thousands of miles in order to protect ALL of us from an  often unseen enemy whose purpose and intent is to destroy our way of life, and our western civilization. Too many have returned in flag draped coffins.

To those who are still serving we owe you and your families our continuing support and appreciation.  God Bless all of you and Thank You for your service to your country.  For you who are still serving in war zones, whose lives are in harm's way, you are in our memories and in our prayers every day. May God be with you every step of your journey.

To those whose memories we observe today, it is difficult to find the words to express your country's gratitude - to really know your families' grief.   You who paid the ultimate price while serving your country will forever be our heroes. As of this writing, six thousand thirteen service men and women have died in Afghanistan and Iraq.  Although on this day we commemorate all who died for our country in all past wars, we however seem to focus on the most recent deaths.

Because we are a country still at war, Two Sisters  would like to end this tribute to all service men and women by dedicating this page to three soldiers whom we did not know personally, but  whose deaths unexpectedly have impacted our lives. 


                        IN MEMORIAM
Pfc. Colton Rusk, USMC
Orange Grove, Texas
September 23, 1990 - December 6, 2010
Died serving his country in Helmand Province, Afghanistan

IN MEMORIAM
Captain Rowdy J. Inman
Panorama Village, TX
U.S. Army 3rd Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, III Corps
Decorated Desert Storm Veteran
Died serving his country on December 26, 2007, Mosul, Iraq

IN MEMORIAM
SFC  Jonathan A. Lowery
Houlton, Maine
U.S. Army 3rd Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, III Corps
Died serving his country on December 14, 2007, Mosul, Iraq

REST IN PEACE

Two Sisters From The Right                              

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14 Comments:

At May 30, 2011 at 6:10 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent observations! Several of my friends and I over the last couple of days have discussed how many of us have forgotten the real reason for this holiday, and you're right, many of us just see it as a 3 day weekend to relax and party. The same can be said of most any holiday we have, including Christmas. It doesn't bode well for our republic if we don't learn our history, and holidays like Memorial day are intended to do just that, helping us by stopping our usual rituals/activities and asking us to reflect on what we have and why we have it. I am forever indebted to all who have worn a uniformin our country's service and especially so to those who gave all. As a 9-11 tribute once put so well in regard to those who died that horrible day, "Live a life worthy of thier sacrifice."

Bakeb

 
At May 30, 2011 at 6:59 AM , Blogger ramcclain said...

Excellent article! I had forgotten about selling poppies, which I also did as a youngster. Yes, like other holidays, original intent has been lost in/for commercial interests, to some degree. Thank you for your article and your blog!

 
At May 30, 2011 at 7:12 AM , Anonymous Steve Bussey said...

Beautifully done ladies!

 
At May 30, 2011 at 12:44 PM , Blogger PatriotUSA said...

Wow, and wow and a very well done. I had to get a Kleenex after reading this and scrolling through the feed and pictures of those who gave their all for us, and our country. Your love of country and for those who defend us comes shining through. Your writing is beautifully done,

Thank you and my father and grandfather would of highly approved of what they would have read here.

 
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