"Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service. There are many stories as to its actual beginnings, with over two dozen cities and towns laying claim to being the birthplace of Memorial Day. There is also evidence that organized women's groups in the South were decorating graves before the end of the Civil War: a hymn published in 1867, "Kneel Where Our Loves are Sleeping" by Nella L. Sweet carried the dedication "To The Ladies of the South who are Decorating the Graves of the Confederate Dead" (Source: Duke University's Historic American Sheet Music, 1850-1920). While Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966, it's difficult to prove conclusively the origins of the day.... It is about reconciliation; it is about coming together to honor those who gave their all."
Surfing the web over the weekend, I couldn't find anything more fitting a tribute than what I found on Outlaw 13's blog. If you have a chance, give him a read - very thoughtful, well written, and he has some great pics posted online.
Here are his thoughts about today:
Some Names I'll Always Remember
CW2 Paul Timmer; CW3 Rex Kenyon; CW3 Chuck Fortenberry; As I'm sure you know it's Memorial Day weekend. And I'm sure we'll see gallons of ink spilled and entire forests decimated in the quest to tell us how we should all feel about the sacrifice of people like Paul, Rex and Chuck. If we are honest with ourselves those articles accomplish nothing, the people who really need those words will never read them and if they did the meaning of them would escape their grasp. If you are reading this the odds are good that you already appreciate the sacrifice of our soldiers in the cause of freedom... So I am in some respects preaching to the converted.What I intend to address is the issue of how we honor and remember the sacrifice of these and other soldiers. Having known these three guys pretty well I can say that they really wouldn't be going to any parades, wreath laying or any other type ceremony unless you forced them to... so I think the best way to honor these guys would be to do the things they would be doing if they were here today. At your BBQ have another Shiner Bock for Chuck, a burger for Paul and some chicken for Rex. See a ball game, go water skiing, go slow in the fast lane on the interstate. It's all these things (even things that piss you and me off) that these guys died to protect... if you want to honor them have some fun and when you get a second or two have a drink on Paul, Rex and Chuck.
I'll be hoisting a beer at 3pm - our National hour of remembrance. I hope you'll be joining me.