Senior Care Seattle WA: Thank Our Veterans and Remember Those We Have Lost on Memorial Day
Memorial Day, first called “Decoration Day”, is a day of remembrance for individuals who have perished in our nation’s service. You will discover numerous stories as to its actual origins, with over two dozen cities and towns laying claim to being the birthplace of Memorial Day. There is also evidence that organized women’s groups in the South were adorning graves previous to the end of the Civil War: a hymn published in 1867, “Kneel Where Our Loves are Sleeping” by Nella L. Sweet offered 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 without doubt the origins of the day. It is much more likely that it had many individual beginnings; each of those towns and every scheduled or spur-of-the-moment meeting of people to honor the war dead in the 1860’s established the normal human need to honor our dead, each added honestly to the expanding movement that culminated in Gen Logan giving his official proclamation in 1868. It is not vital who was the very first, what is vital is that Memorial Day was established. Memorial Day is not about division. It is about compromise; it is about coming together to honor those who gave everything they had.
Traditional observation of Memorial day has diminished over the years.
Many Americans these days have forgotten the importance and customs of Memorial Day.
Since the late 50’s on the Thursday before Memorial Day, the 1,200 soldiers of the 3d U.S. Infantry place small American flags at each of the more than 260,000 gravestones at Arlington National Cemetery. They then patrol 24 hours a day during the weekend to ensure that each flag remains standing.
In 1951, the Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts of St. Louis began placing flags on the 150,000 graves at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery as an annual Good Turn, a practice that continues to this day. More recently, beginning in 1998, on the Saturday before the observed day for Memorial Day, the Boys Scouts and Girl Scouts place a candle at each of approximately 15,300 grave sites of soldiers buried at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park on Marye’s Heights (the Luminaria Program). And in 2004, Washington D.C. held its first Memorial Day parade in over 60 years.
To help re-educate and remind Americans of the true meaning of Memorial Day, the “National Moment of Remembrance” resolution was passed on Dec 2000 which asks that at 3 p.m. local time, for all Americans “To voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a Moment of remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence or listening to ‘Taps.”
For those providing senior care to veterans, this is a great time to get them involved in a remembrance tradition. Ask them if they would like to place flags or gather with some old friends.
The Moment of Remembrance is a step in the right direction to returning the meaning back to the day. What is needed is a full return to the original day of observance. Set aside one day out of the year for the nation to get together to remember, reflect and honor those who have given their all in service to their country.
If you would like information about senior care in the Seattle area, contact our caregivers at Andelcare. We are dedicated to provided quality and affordable care to our loved ones. Call 425-283-0408.