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Sunday, May 24, 2020

A little history about a solemn remembrance

cj Sez:  Because I think this information is important, this post is a repeat from 2018  . . .
All sacrificed some; some sacrificed all.

Q. What is the difference between Veterans Day and Memorial Day?

A. People often confuse the purposes of Veterans Day and Memorial Day. Veterans Day is largely intended to thank living veterans for their service, to acknowledge that their contributions to our national security are appreciated, and to underscore the fact that all those who served—not only those who died—have sacrificed greatly and done their duty.   

   Memorial Day is a day that was set aside to remember and honor military personnel who died in the service of their country, particularly those who died in battle or as a result of wounds sustained in battle.

   Today they are generally treated by many people as interchangeable opportunities to thank and honor all military veterans, living or dead, who served honorably in wartime or peacetime.

   It wasn't always called Memorial Day — it used to be known as Decoration Day. (cj Sez: When I was little, we called it Poppy Day instead of Decoration Day.) Whatever the name, it's a day of remembrance for all those who have died in service of the United States of America.

   Born of the Civil War, Memorial Day began as a holiday honoring Union soldiers, and some states still have separate Confederate observances. Mississippi celebrates Confederate Memorial Day on the last Monday of April, Alabama on the fourth Monday of April, and Georgia on April 26. North and South Carolina observe it on May 10, Louisiana on June 3 and Tennessee calls that date Confederate Decoration Day. Texas celebrates Confederate Heroes Day on Jan. 19 and Virginia calls the last Monday in May Confederate Memorial Day. (cj Sez: In this era of intolerance and cries to erase visible traces of our sad history, memorials respecting Confederate soldiers who died fighting for what they believed in may not exist much longer.)

   The date of the first Decoration Day, the 30th of May, 1868, was chosen because it wasn’t the anniversary of any particular Civil War battle.

   In 1915, inspired by the rondeau poem “In Flanders Fields” (penned by Canadian physician Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae while still at a World War I battlefront), Moina Michael conceived the idea to wear red poppies on Memorial Day in honor of those who died serving the nation during war. She was the first to wear one and sold poppies to her friends and co-workers with the money going to benefit servicemen in need.

   The thoughts below are from the Facebook of Janie Delchamps Zetsch of Dauphin Island, AL, a veteran and member of AL Post 250. It says everything. In 2018 Janie told me it had been a repost and gave me permission to use it. I repeat it again today. Please take a minute to read it all the way through.

   “Just a reminder of what we celebrate (this) weekend. I am but one of millions of proud veterans, however it is not about us. It is to honor those that made the ultimate sacrifice during battle, and to honor those that served and have now gone onto their eternal rest. The following, pointed, reminders are provided for your use, knowledge and perhaps to teach a child what we celebrate and honor on Memorial Day.

Here's some ground rules…:
1. Don't wish me a Happy Memorial day. There is nothing happy about brave men and women dying.
2. It's not a holiday. It's a remembrance.
3. If you want to know the true meaning, visit Arlington or your local VA, not Disneyland.
4. Don't tell me how great any one political power is. Tell me about Chesty Puller, George Patton, John Basilone, Dakota Meyer, Kyle Carpenter, Mitchell Paige, Ira Hayes, Chris Kyle and any other heroes too numerous to name. Attend a Bell Ceremony and shed some tears.
5. Don't tell me I don't know what I am talking about. I have carried the burden all too many times for my warriors who now stand their post for God.
6. Say a prayer... and then another.
7. Remember the Fallen for all the Good they did while they were here.
8. Reach out and let a Vet know you're there, we're losing too many in "peace". God Bless those who fought and died and served this nation for our freedom.”

cj Sez:  I owe a humbling debt of gratitude—one I can never repay—to the heroes who died so that my family and I live in freedom today. I pray God’s blessings and comfort rain down on their families.

   That’s it for today’s post. You-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same, (Sending up prayers for your health and safety.)


My short story, "Love is Immortal" is part of the Bienvenue to the Chateau Rouge anthology available now. (The ebook was still 99 cents at the time of this post…BUT the price will increase on Monday, May 25.)  The anthology is available through these fine sites:

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  1. The further we become removed from WWII, the last "great" war (not that any war is great), but less this holiday is understood. My only connection with it is that I was told my father didn't see me until I was over a year old. My parents were married and I was immediately conceived, then he shipped out to the Pacific with the Navy for two years. My own experience was with my husband and Viet Nam. He got shipped to S. Korea instead, but an incredibly lucky fluke, but that was the war of our generation. Those vets were not honored for way too long, since the war was so unpopular. Thanks for the post from the vet!

    1. cj Sez: If we can't remember and feel the pain of past wars, we are doomed to repeat the tragedies, as the adage goes. One of my uncles was involved in the D-Day landing and was eventually discharged after being diagnosed as "shell-shocked"--their word for PTSD. Thanks for your comment, Kaye. Stay safe.


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