A belated Memorial Day to you all.
I was reading up on Memorial Day and ran across this on Wikipedia - I don't believe I've ever read this before and perhaps you haven't either. I recommend you take a moment and do so now.
Memorial Day Order
Headquarters, Grand Army of the Republic Washington, D.C., May 5, 1868
I. 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 organized, 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, who made their breasts a barricade between our country and its foe? Their soldier lives were the reveille of freedom to a race in chains, and their death a tattoo of rebellious tyranny in arms. 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 no wanton foot tread rudely on such hallowed grounds. Let pleasant paths invite the coming and going of reverent visitors and found mourners. Let no vandalism of avarice or neglect, no ravages of time, testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten, as a people, the cost of 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 from dishonor; let us in this solemn presence renew our pledges to aid and assist those whom they have left among us as sacred charges upon the Nation's gratitude,--the soldier's and sailor's widow and orphan.
II. It is the purpose of the Commander-in-Chief to inaugurate this observance with the hope 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.
III. Department commanders will use every effort to make this order effective.
By command of: JOHN A. LOGAN, Commander-in-Chief.
After reading this, especially the highlighted portion, I was reminded of a line from the "Lord of the Rings" movies. After a battle, King Theoden speaks the following:
"Hail the victorious dead!"
Once more, I am so very thankful for the service of my grandfather in WWII (and his return home), my father-in-law in Korea (and his return home), and my father in Vietnam (and his return home). I am thankful for all those who have served that we might be free.
On a lighter note:
As is our custom around here, we picked up Old Navy flag t-shirts again this year and donned them for a Memorial Day family picture.
We took it inside this year because we decided to stay home and it was tooo sunny in the backyard when we were ready for the picture. Later, CKB grilled hot dogs and we ate at our new picnic table.
The Saturday prior we'd been at a birthday party and witnessed this same picnic table come together rather quickly. I found out they were the ones from Home Depot - I'd seen them out front before, but thought that you could just buy them pre-assembled and since we are sans truck, figured this wasn't an option for us. As it turns out, they are sold in a "kit" with everything pre-cut and the bolts, etc. all already in place. The instruction packet that came with it advertised "5 minute assembly" and it didn't even take 5 mn. after CKB got the table out of the box. Voila, we have a picnic table - hooray! No picture, sorry, maybe another post.
Sorry this is late. We've been busy.