On This Memorial Day

Today, Monday, May 28, 2012, we celebrate Memorial Day.

Memorial Day was originally called “Decoration Day.” It was a day of remembrance, honoring those who had died while in service to our nation.

General John Logan proclaimed Memorial Day on May 5, 1868. It was first observed on May 30, 1868, with flowers placed on the graves of both Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.
Congress did not make it a National Holiday until 1971.

On this celebration of Memorial Day, take some time to give thanks to those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for our country. Say a prayer for the families of our service men and women, that they be guided by God’s love and given the strength to carry on while their loved ones are protecting the freedom of everyone in this great country.

Decoration Day
By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1882)

Sleep, comrades, sleep and rest
On this Field of the Grounded Arms,
Where foes no more molest,
Nor sentry’s shot alarms!

Ye have slept on the ground before,
And started to your feet
At the cannon’s sudden roar,
Or the drum’s redoubling beat.

But in this camp of Death
No sound your slumber breaks;
Here is no fevered breath,
No wound that bleeds and aches.

All is repose and peace,
Untrampled lies the sod;
The shouts of battle cease,
It is the Truce of God!

Rest, comrades, rest and sleep!
The thoughts of men shall be
As sentinels to keep
Your rest from danger free.

Your silent tents of green
We deck with fragrant flowers;
Yours has the suffering been,
The memory shall be ours.