Honoring Those Who Died in Service

 

Evolving Decoration Day

By Jeff Salter

As one of the posts this week already noted, the new Memorial Day was formerly Decoration Day — a day to dress up old gravestones and honor those who died in battle. It has stretched quite a bit over the years to include memoralizing nearly anyone dear to you who has passed away — and I’m okay with that. In recent years, this holiday has also honored those First Responders – including workers in Fire, Police, EMT, and general Medical Care – who lost their lives in service.

Furthermore, it’s become somewhat a second Veteran’s Day on which all veterans are honored, whether dead or alive. I don’t make light of that, because I’m a vet and (truly) veterans deserve to be recognized. But it’s important to me for the traditions of the original decoration day to be observed. Decoration Day is a prominent feature in my novel “Hid Wounded Reb” and I’ve featured little write-ups about Decoration Day in several of my displays of militaria.

Here’s the piece I have often featured:

Memorial Day
May 30 (observance in 2016)
Originally called Decoration Day, this is a day of remembrance for all those who have died in our nation’s service. Officially proclaimed in 1868, it was first observed on May 30 that year by placing flowers on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. Since 1968, its observance moves each year to the last Monday in May.

memorialdayflag

Here’s a look at Memorial Day tributes I’ve posted in the past years:

2011

https://fourfoxesonehound.wordpress.com/2011/06/02/memorial-day-tribute/

2014

https://fourfoxesonehound.wordpress.com/2014/05/29/memorial-day-has-evolved/

2012

https://fourfoxesonehound.wordpress.com/2012/05/23/originally-decoration-day/

[JLS # 281]

 

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About jeff7salter

Currently writing romantic comedy, screwball comedy, and romantic suspense. Twelve completed novels and five completed novellas. Working with three royalty publishers: Clean Reads, Dingbat Publishing, & TouchPoint Press/Romance. "Size Matters" -- Oct. 2016 "The Duchess of Earl" -- Jul. 2016 "Stuck on Cloud Eight" -- Nov. 2015, "Pleased to Meet Me" (novella) -- Oct. 2015, "One Simple Favor" (novella) -- May 2015, "The Ghostess & MISTER Muir" -- Oct. 2014, "Scratching the Seven-Month Itch" -- Sept. 2014, "Hid Wounded Reb" -- Aug. 2014, "Don't Bet On It" (novella) -- April 2014, "Curing the Uncommon Man-Cold -- Dec. 2013, "Echo Taps" (novella) -- June 2013, "Called To Arms Again" -- (a tribute to the greatest generation) -- May 2013, "Rescued By That New Guy in Town" -- Oct. 2012, "The Overnighter's Secrets" -- May 2012. Co-authored two non-fiction books about librarianship (with a royalty publisher), a chapter in another book, and an article in a specialty encyclopedia. Plus several library-related articles and reviews. Also published some 120 poems, about 150 bylined newspaper articles, and some 100 bylined photos. Worked about 30 years in librarianship. Formerly newspaper editor and photo-journalist. Decorated veteran of U.S. Air Force (including a remote ‘tour’ of duty in the Arctic … at Thule AB in N.W. Greenland). Married; father of two; grandfather of six.
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9 Responses to Honoring Those Who Died in Service

  1. I am gladdened to see that we have gotten back to giving proper due to those who serve in the military,Jeff.I hear “Thank you for your service”, and I am told “Thank him for his service” all the time for both of my sons, the veteran and the first res ponder.
    However, I think it is fitting to give a special honor to those who gave it all.Let’s face it; it is above and beyond what most of us experience.It brings their sacrifice home, as it were.

    Liked by 2 people

    • jeff7salter says:

      Amen. I totally support all the first responders (living and dead) and the military (whether currently serving or veterans). But in my mind, I’d rather not lump them all into one day, such as Memorial Day. I’d be in favor of a separate day to honor first responders (living, active duty, retired, or deceased).

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well, I think the dead should be honored and no forgotten, which is so easy when everyone is busy thanking those in uniform.It’s easy to forget when we see so many who have survived.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Patricia Kiyono says:

    I can’t argue with your opinions – they echo mine. I would love to read more information about some of the family members that you mention in your 2011 post.

    Liked by 2 people

    • jeff7salter says:

      thanks, Patty.
      I wish I knew more about some of those relatives I mentioned in he 2011 post.
      Several of them died long before I was born and others were already old men by the time I got to grade school.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. jbrayweber says:

    Times do change whether we want them to or not. I won’t pull out the soap box (because I have loads to say on the subject, mostly how we’ve lost common sense, manners, and respect for life) but I also agree that we should not dilute the true reason for the holiday.

    Liked by 1 person

    • jeff7salter says:

      yes, an example of that is Independence Day. Nowadays, it seems (mostly) to mean retail sales, picnics, and fireworks. To me, it means a LOT more.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Joselyn says:

    Yes, it seems that many holidays are sidetracked in favor of candy, or drinking, or spending money. It would be nice to focus on the real reason for each one.

    Liked by 1 person

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