26 May Three Memorial Day Thoughts
On Memorial Day Monday we remember and honor those who paid the ultimate sacrifice serving our country. Here’s three important things worth remembering about this solemn holiday:
1) Every country has their version of Veterans Day, only the USA has a Memorial Day dedicated to those who lost their lives while on active duty. Local celebrations started popping up in several eastern states between 1865-1867 to remember the fallen from the Civil War. In 1868 it became a national event.
2) Originally named ‘Decoration Day,’ it was established on May 30. Why then? Two reasons: First, that date didn’t coincide with any one particular Civil War Battle so it represented them all. Second, it takes that long into the spring for northern states to get some of their best flowers in bloom … and this holiday’s purpose was not just to remember the sacrifice of the fallen, but as the General Order #11 from the Army of the Potomac stated for this new National Day, its purpose was “to strew with flowers or otherwise decorate the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country.”
3) To honor the fallen, it’s fitting to greet living veteran with, “We Remember.” You’ll often receive the respectful response, “Always.”
In keynote speeches, I often encourage the audience to draw lessons and strength from the motivational “Teamwork, Tone, Tenacity®” (T3) examples of veterans who gave – as President Lincoln described, their “last full measure of devotion.”
On this weekend, I’ll march in a Memorial Day Parade, decorate graves at a local Veterans Cemetery and share respectful remembrances with families the fallen. Please do something similar to remember our nation’s heroes.