Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day: A Time To Honor America's Heroes

Memorial Day at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, DC.

Clay Aiken Sings 'God Bless the USA'

Remembering America's Heroes
The National Moment of Remembrance encourages all Americans to pause wherever they are at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day for a minute of silence to remember and honor those who have died in service to the nation.

As Moment of Remembrance founder Carmella LaSpada states: "It's a way we can all help put the memorial back in Memorial Day."

On Memorial Days past, I have featured a 1963 interview with John M. Steele, the paratrooper who landed on a church steeple in St. Mere Eglise, France, during the D-Day invasion of Normandy June 6, 1944.

I was a 20-year-old college junior writing news and features for the Wilmington Morning Star the summer I interviewed the local war hero whose experience had recently been included in the movie, The Longest Day.

The story about Pvt. Steele missing the drop zone, landing on the church steeple, and playing dead for hours before German soldiers searching for cigarettes realized he was alive can be read in the 2010 Memorial Day blog: America Honors Military Heroes.

John Steele steeple monument in Ste. Mere Eglise, France.

Memorial Day Originally Decoration Day

Three years after the Civil War ended, on May 5, 1868, the head of an organization of Union veterans - the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) - established Decoration Day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers.

Maj. Gen. John A. Logan declared that Decoration Day should be observed on May 30. It is believed that date was chosen because flowers would be in bloom all over the country. The first large observance was held that year at Arlington National Cemetery, across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C.

To read the complete history, link to the WECT Wilmington website.

The Internet is overflowing with commemorative images marking the day America pays tribute to those who have served and sacrificed for their country. The four used in this blog are from CLIPish and can be shared via iPhones and other smart phones.

America Salutes Those Who Served

At graveside ceremonies, parades, concerts, and other festivities in Washington, DC, and throughout the nation, America this weekend pays tribute to those who have served and sacrificed for their country.

The National Memorial Day Parade, an annual tradition of remembrance with patriotic marches and floats in Washington, DC, is slated for 2 p.m. Monday. The 2011 event will be televised live to US service members around the world. Memorial Day Parades in other locations are listed here.

At 11 a.m. today, President Barack Obama laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in a traditional ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery

Patriotic music is an important part of Memorial Day observances. Sunday's National Memorial Day Concert on the west lawn of the US Capitol featured dramatic readings, documentary footage, and live performances. Check your PBS station for rebroadcast times.

Clay Aiken performs "God Bless the USA" at 2004 Concert.
Graphic by Ashes links to the video on YouTube.

At 3 p.m. local time, according to the 2000 National Moment of Remembrance Act passed to emphasize the meaning of Memorial Day, all Americans should "voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a moment of remembrance and respect.'"

On Memorial Day, we honor the John M. Steeles of our lives. Have a very special Memorial Day!



Jannet said...

What a great reminder of today's purpose Caro. We all DO need to put the BBQ on the back burner at 3:00 for a few moments. What a very small sacrifice on our part. Thank you for this.

claysweetea said...

Thanks for such an informative blog and beautiful graphics!

kta said...

Thank you for a wonderful blog. Thanks to all the men and women who have served so bravely.

T said...

Caro, what a great blog. Memorial Day is very special as we commemorate those men & women who have served their nation & sacrificed their lives. We give honor and thanks to them.

Love all the graphics. Have a wonderful week.


Sandy said...

Thank you for this wonderful tribute to honour those men and woman who fought for our freedom and continue to do so. The sacrifices that were made went way and beyond the call of duty. It's seems such a small thing to do, to stop for a moment of silence, but the significence of what it stands for reminds us that a big price was paid for the freedom we enjoy today.


SueReu said...

Hope everyone had a great Memorial Day!!

Thank you!!

Sally said...

Memorial Day, is a day set aside to honor our solders. But how is it that our nation ignores their needs and fails to relieve their suffering when they return home broken and injured?

We ask so much of our best and brightest, They need so much more than parades, marching bands and words of praise.

couponsforzipcodes said...

This is so great that everyone had a great Memorial Day!!

Anonymous said...

Caro, this is a wonderful Memorial Day Blog.....we can't forget those that serve for our freedom, every day!

Thank You for a great blog.