Happy Memorial/Decoration Day, to all! I know I said I was taking the week off this week, but I lied. 🙂 (Diverting/changing the subject like a good caregiver should…)
Memorial day is a day perhaps first recognized in South Carolina as a day of remembrance of the Civil War. Earliest records point to freed slaves as the first organizers although no official records for its origin exist. History.com cites the following: “On the first Decoration Day, General James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery, and 5,000 participants decorated the graves of the 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers buried there.” Ancients way back to 431 BC thought it important to celebrate and honor those who have passed away in war as well, for varying reasons. It seems that it is innate to remember fallen soldiers, partially to honor their memory and partially to clarify and recognize the event that led to the sacrifice.
If you are a little older and appreciate the red poppy as a symbol of the holiday, you may remember this wonderful poem “We Shall Keep the Faith”:
by Moina Michael, November 1918 at the end of WWI:
Oh! you who sleep in Flanders Fields,
Sleep sweet – to rise anew!
We caught the torch you threw
And holding high, we keep the Faith
With All who died.
We cherish, too, the poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led;
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies,
But lends a lustre to the red
Of the flower that blooms above the dead
In Flanders Fields.
And now the Torch and Poppy Red
We wear in honor of our dead.
Fear not that ye have died for naught;
We’ll teach the lesson that ye wrought
In Flanders Fields.
Thank you to the many veterans in that may see this post. Thank you for your sacrifice. I appreciate what you have done then and now for our society, the greatest the world has ever witnessed.
Just a reminder too, on this Memorial day…As I mentioned in a piece some time ago called “Back in the Foxhole” veterans are twice as likely to struggle and ultimately die of dementia than the general population. In the spirit made most famous by the military, please join me in leaving no soldier behind. There are hundreds of thousands of veterans sitting alone in memory units this fine day who could benefit greatly from regular visits (and you would benefit too…). We honor and visit soldiers who have passed…how about we honor and visit those living in nursing homes as well once the Shawshank gates open back up to us. Please using this time to get a plan. Visit your church group, your civic/American Legion group, or your employer about a plan to visit these soldiers. While you are doing it, wear 2 flowers: a red poppy honoring their veteran status and a white flower that celebrates that some day there will be someone cured of this terrible disease. They have earned our visits and our praise.
Update: Wer had a large number of family see mom at the window yesterday. 🙂 She smiled and really liked it. I look so forward to this Shawshank blockade being lifted. 🙁
WW update: Lost a small amount (.6) this week. I am down from a 44 waist to a 38. I am about halfway to where I want to be. 🙂