It is okay to go eat a hot dog this week. And there is no issue with zooming around on the lake or sipping cold beers on the beach this Memorial Day weekend. But these activities are not the reason for Memorial Day, and allowing this fact to be forgotten is something patriotic Americans have been fearful of for some time.
Our ability to relax and enjoy the extra time off is directly thanks to the men and women of the armed forces, who, throughout our nation’s history, have fought and died to protect the freedoms we are afforded here in the United States. Their sacrifice paid our leisure, and being unwilling to acknowledge that has long been considered an unforgivable act…especially in politics.
May 28 is Memorial Day, formerly called Decoration Day. Remember what it’s all about. Memorial Day is a holiday that means so much more than hot dogs, parades, and the start of the summer. Not that those things are bad, but it isn’t Memorial Day unless we remember what the day is really about—honoring the people who laid down their lives to save our families and to protect the land of the free.
A Memorial Day Prayer
Lord who grants salvation to kings and dominion to rulers, Whose kingdom is a kingdom spanning all eternities; Who places a road in the sea and a path in the mighty waters – may you bless the President, the Vice President, and all the constituted officers of the government of this land. May they execute their responsibilities with intelligence, honor, and compassion. And may these United States continue to be the land of the free and the home of the brave.
May He bless the members of our armed forces, who protect them from harm on the land, air, and sea. May the Almighty cause the enemies who rise up against us to be struck down before them. May the Holy One, Blessed is He, preserve and rescue our fighters and their families from every trouble, distress, plague, and illness, and may He send blessing and success in their every endeavor.
May the God of overflowing compassion, who lives in the highest and all worlds, give eternal rest to those who are now under his Holy sheltering spiritual wings, making them rise ever more purely through the light of your brilliance, and may he bless their souls forever and may he comfort the bereaved. May those of us who remain free never forget their sacrifice. On Memorial Day, may we as a nation remember those who gave their lives to protect America and our freedoms, and may their memories always be a blessing. May we spend some time today remembering those who sacrificed and praying that God protects their souls and comforts their bereaved loved ones.
The Original Order Creating the Memorial Day Holiday:
The 30th day of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet churchyard in the land. In this observance no form or ceremony is prescribed, but Posts and comrades will, in their own way, arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit.
We are here to play, Comrades, as our regulations tell us, for the purpose among other things, “of preserving and strengthening those kind and fraternal feelings which have bound together the soldiers sailors and Marines, who united to suppress the late rebellion.” What can aid more to assure this result than by cherishing tenderly the memory of our heroic dead? We should guard their graves with sacred vigilance. All that the consecrated wealth and taste of the nation can add to their adornment and security, is but a fitting tribute to the memory of her slain defenders. Let pleasant paths invite the coming and going of reverent visitors and fond mourners. Let no neglect, no ravages of time, testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten as a people the cost of a free and undivided republic.
If other eyes grow dull and other hands slack, and other hearts cold in the solemn trust, ours shall keep it well as long as the light and warmth of life remain in us.
Let us, then, at the time appointed, gather around their sacred remains, and garland the passionless mounds above them with choicest flowers of springtime; let us raise above them the dear old flag they saved; let us in this solemn presence renew our pledge to aid and assist those whom they have left among us a sacred charge upon the Nation’s gratitude—the soldiers and sailors widow and orphan.
It is the purpose of the Commander in Chief to inaugurate this observance with the hope that it will be kept up from year to year, while a survivor of the war remains to honor the memory of his departed comrades. He earnestly desires the public press to call attention to this Order, and lend its friendly aid in bringing it to the notice of comrades in all parts of the country in time for simultaneous compliance therewith.
The video below shows President Reagan’s Memorial Day Speech at Arlington Cemetery on May 31, 1982: