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Memorial Day: A Day to Remember

Take time to remember the true meaning of Memorial Day during this holiday weekend.

We cherish too, the Poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led
It seems to signal to the skies
That the blood of heroes never dies
("In Flanders Fields" by Monica Michael)  

Monday, May 30, is Memorial Day. Everybody loves a parade, right? this side of the Mississippi and perhaps the best parade in the entire United States. Everybody loves a cookout, right? After all, isn't parades, hamburgers, hot dogs, barbeque ribs what Memorial Day is all about? Not so.

Memorial Day is a day set aside to observe the memory of our fallen warriors in all wars. There is a lot of history associated with Memorial Day. I encourage you to venture out into cyberspace and read all you can about this special day. There are many stories as to its actual beginnings. Over a dozen cities lay claim to being the birthplace of Memorial Day. Evidence points out that there were organized groups in the South decorating graves of the fallen with flowers before the end of the Civil War or as I would say, the War of Northern Aggression.  

Memorial Day was first known as Decoration Day which lays down with what I stated in the previous paragraph where the graves of fallen warriors were decorated with flowers. Memorial Day was not officially proclaimed until May 5, 1868, by Union General John A. Logan and observed on May 30.

Memorial Day did not become common until after World War II when it was given its official name by Federal law in 1967. On June 28, 1968, Congress passed the Uniform Holidays Bill which moved Washington's Birthday (Presidents Day), Veterans Day, and Memorial Day to a specified Monday in order to create a three day weekend. Just like a bunch of bureaucrats to mess up what should be a solemn assembly when we recognize our fallen warriors and the past and present members of our armed forces.  

Since 1987, Hawaii's Senator Daniel Inouye, a World War II veteran, has repeatedly introduced measures to return Memorial Day to its traditional date of May 30. I support Senator Inouye's measure as well as supporting the return of Veterans (Armistice) Day to its traditional date of November 11, regardless of what day in the week the day falls on with the exception of Sunday. Should either day fall on a Sunday, the following Monday should be observed. This should satisfy the bureaucrats.

In closing, let me say this -- enjoy the parade and enjoy your cookout but, set aside a period of time when you observe, in your own way, the memory of our fallen warriors. For me, that moment will begin at daylight at my flagpole. I will raise the flag to full staff and then lower the flag to half staff where it will remain at half staff until noon. At noon, I will return the flag to full staff. Afterwards, I will make my way on over to the Fallen Heroes Memorial located on the grounds of the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center where I will pay my respect to our fallen warriors in the memorial ceremony that begins at 1 p.m.  -- especially to honor the memory of . His name will be added to the Fallen Heroes monument Monday.  

The way I see it, Memorial Day is a day to remember that the blood of heroes never dies.

Marvin Atherton May 27, 2011 at 11:16 AM
Mr. Orr....I could not have said it better myself! Eighteen years ago when I had the idea to have a Memorial Day parade in Dacula, I would have never thought it would have grown as big as it is today. Thanks for the kind accolades about the parade. It's all about our fallen heroes and all I want to do is instill in especially our younger generation just exactly what Memorial Day is really all about. I hope you will be watching the parade on Monday from somewhere along the parade route! I will be at firestation 16...come see me! Marvin Atherton Founder, Memorial Day in Dacula
Patrick T. Malone May 27, 2011 at 11:17 AM
Well said, my friend
Charles W Batastini,Sr May 27, 2011 at 12:44 PM
Thanks for the reminder. Especially for the reason why. CWB,Sr.
Jimmy Orr May 27, 2011 at 12:52 PM
Marvin and Patrick, thank you both for the kind words. I will be at the front end of the parade Monday as it leaves the Hebron parking lot. This will allow me to get a "jump start" on the after parade traffic and swing by the house before I go to the Memorial Day Service at the GCJ&A Center at 1:00 PM. I remember the first Dacula Memorial Day parade I attended and over 18 years, it has become an event that unless you are out of town, you do not want to miss it. Congratulations on 18 years of continuing success.
Jimmy Orr May 27, 2011 at 01:33 PM
Batman, how's the shoulder? Are you going to do rehab in house or at Houston Clinic? BTW, you don't need a reminder. Good to see you feel good enough to venture out into cyberspace.

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