On Monday, Americans across this nation and citizens located around the world will pause throughout the day to observe Memorial Day. Since its first official observation on 5 May, 1868, when it was called Declaration Day, it has been a day of remembrance for those who sacrificed and died in our nation’s service. And while it was originally dedicated to honor Civil War soldiers, we know it today as a celebration in memory of all who have fought for and defended our right to freedom.
In 1968 the observation of this day was established to be the last Monday in May. Today it remains a time of observation to honor and to respect those who fought to protect the liberties that our Founding Fathers proclaimed with certainty in the Declaration of Independence and that were thoughtfully and carefully framed in the Constitution of the United States. In his proclamation to set aside this day in 1868, General Logan instructed there to be thoughts to “…cherish tenderly the memories of our heroic dead who made their breast a barricade between our country and its foes”.
To those who died securing peace and freedom; To those who served in conflict to protect our land, and sacrificed their dreams of the day to preserve the hope of our nation keeping America the land of the free for over two centuries we owe our thanks and our honor. It is important to not only recognize their service but to respect their devotion to duty and to ensure that the purpose for which they fought will never be forgotten.
From the soldiers who fought bravely during the American Revolution to the men and women of today’s Armed Forces, America’s fighting forces, have responded bravely to this nation’s call to duty. Both on the battlefield and in their assurance of readiness, members of the nation’s military remain bound to their duty. For more than 200 years, America’s Armed Forces have been the surest guarantee that Freedom will continue to ring across this land – From Sea to Shining Sea!
The lives of the men and women who fought in America’s battles, and who served their country in support of the military, made significant sacrifice in fighting for the freedom and liberty that we enjoy today. Too often we fail to remember those who gave their life, or those whose life today bears the scars as a lasting memory of that sacrifice and commitment. But there are many who remember vividly as the lives affected were sons, daughters, friends, coworkers and neighbors – and that their unselfishvsacrifice was made with the assurance that life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness required the ultimate service to their nation.
~excerpt from a Memorial Day speech by Kelvin Drawdy [PDF]
Where ever you are today, please take a moment and remember the sacrifice of those who gave all their tomorrows for the freedoms we enjoy. Be grateful. Be glad that such men and women lived.
Locally, the Memorial Day observance will be held at the Veterans Memorial Park of Macon County. [Directions]
Video of last year's observance at Woodlawn Cemetery in Franklin, NC: