Happy Memorial Day!!!
I like Memorial Day. It seems like a strange holiday to actually enjoy, but I do. It is one of the few holidays that really brings people together that isn’t religious (i.e. Christmas, Easter, Hanukah, etc.) or that people hate on (i.e. Halloween, Valentine’s Day, etc.). Memorial Day, like July 4th (my birthday!!! :0P), Veteran’s Day, and September 11th, brings people together to remember and celebrate those who have fallen to protect America and our way of life. I feel like a lot of people confuse Memorial Day with Veteran’s Day, Memorial Day remembers those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for their country, while Veteran’s Day honors anyone who has fought for America.
And now, for a quick history lesson on Memorial Day!!! Whoot! So, Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day and was first celebrated during the Civil War in the 1860s, and was a day set aside especially for decorating the graves of fallen soldiers. Decorating the graves of fallen warriors is a centuries old tradition, so this was nothing new per say, just a specific day on which to do it. There’s a lot of disagreement over when and where Decoration/Memorial Day first took place, but it is decided that it was during the early years of the Civil War. The official name change in the eyes of federal law from Decoration Day to Memorial Day went into effect in 1967. Memorial Day originally fell on May 30th every year, but in 1968 (the law technically went into effect in 1971) the Uniform Monday Holiday Act was set in place which took 4 Monday’s out of the year and made them official holidays, Memorial Day takes place on the last Monday of May, this made 4 convenient 3 day weekends. This date change is considered by many, including the VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars), to undermine with true meaning of the day. By creating the three day weekend, many people just see Memorial Day as a day to grill out, open pools, and as the unofficial start to summer, instead of the serious, meaningful day that it is. YAY! Learning!!!!
Now in my home town (we are just a couple decades removed from being a middle-of-nowhere-hick-town where your closest neighbor was a cow, so the area is relatively conservative) has a nice sized parade right down the “olde” main street downtown area. We have veterans, old cars, horse-drawn stuff, candy throwing girl scouts, flag toting boy scouts, two marching bands, bagpipers, fire trucks, ambulances, police cars….you get the drift, but we have a nice parade and people come out to see it waving their flags. The whole thing ends down at a cemetery where there are speeches, prayers, flag raising, the bands play the Star Spangled Banner, Taps is played up on a hill, wreaths are hung, it’s a really awesome heart-warming thing, and it really brings the community together (many a tear has been shed over this little ceremony). Here’s some pictures my mom took (I was marching in one of the bands) :0)
Here we have the very beginning of the parade with the veterans and what not carrying the flags and then the bagpipers and the first band (the one that isn’t mine…boooo :0P)
And then there’s the beautiful muscle car that also holds a woman who lost her son to war, a horse drawn cart with pictures of fallen soldiers, and those candy throwing, flag holding young’ins
And there’s my band! and me! and my boyfriend! (all in summer uniforms, which may look kinda sharp, but are also look kind of janky and ill-fitting, and cut off circulation to your legs if you don’t stand perfectly straight, but hey, better than getting roasted in full uniform) and then there’s the emergency vehicles bringing up the rear :0)
A pretty nice little parade, isn’t it? Lots of American pride and remembrance :0) (I don’t have any pictures of the ceremony at the cemetery because my mom went grocery shopping and there is no room for any picture taking devices in those pants :0P) But yeah, I like Memorial Day. It’s a time to sit back, take a break with family, think about and be thankful for all the men and women who love this country enough to go and risk/lose their lives to protect this little thing we got going here called freedom. I feel like freedom is something that, especially younger generations, take for granted. It’s something that has always been there for young people and they forget how many people died securing and protecting that freedom, and honestly, that freedom is a privilege, not a right. It is something worth fighting for, and I’m an incredibly thankful for all those others who came before me and thought so too :0)
Sudden subject change!!!!!
On a lighter note, since I’m now out of that ill-fitting summer uniform, hows-about looking at something vintage inspired, and patriotic that I’m wearing right now while I celebrate and spend time with my family!
Thanks again to all our soldiers out there with angel wings who gave the ultimate sacrifice to protect the country and people you loved, may your sacrifice not be in vain