I have never been able to think of the day as one of mourning; I have never quite been able to feel that half-misted flags were appropriate on Decoration Day. I have rather felt that the flag should be at the peak, because those whose dying we commemorate rejoiced in seeing it where their valor placed it. We honor them in a joyous, thankful, triumphant commemoration of what they did.
Monday we celebrate Memorial Day, a national holiday. But if you are a child, you will best remember it as the historic start of the summer holiday season.
Memorial Day started out as Declaration Day, ordered by then National Commander of the Grand Army of the Potomac General John Logan to be a day that flowers of remembrance would be placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers.
In 1882, the day was changed to Memorial Day in order to honor all veterans killed in any war.
This is a bittersweet day for families in our community who have lost loved ones in any of our wars; it is a day that we celebrate the gallantry and courage of our brave men and woman who have shed their blood in order for us to celebrate the very life of freedom we celebrate today.
Our nation has done a good job honoring those brave souls, and we need never to stop honoring their memories.
We think that Memorial Day is also a day to honor our living veterans. Actually a special time has been set aside on Monday to honor all of our veterans with a moment of silence.
That time is 3 p.m. on May 31 and it is observed nationwide. You may want to show your thanks and respect at that time.
We want for you to enjoy your swimming and grilling and camping on this grand day of remembrance. We can't help but believe that our veterans both dead and alive would wish we celebrate their special day in this way.
If you know a veteran, on Monday find the time to give him or her great big hug and tell them thanks because America wouldn't be America without them; of course you don't have to wait until Monday to do that.
On behalf of all of us at The Rockdale News, enjoy your holiday, but please don't forget why we are celebrating it.