Coming up with each week’s new post can be a piece of cake or a tough row to hoe.
Usually, I begin thinking about topics on Monday and gradually narrow the choices and develop ideas throughout the week. On a good week, I draft a decent post on Monday, then read and revise it each day until it’s ready to publish. Sometimes that takes just a few days.
Sometimes it takes all week.
Last week, I came down with a cold. I’m still battling it this week, though I think—hope, pray—the worst of it is now behind me. That means my creative powers are somewhat below par at the moment.
Coming up with something to talk about this week was like pulling teeth. Hen’s teeth. It just wasn’t happening. I felt so pressed down on Monday, that I opened my blogging program, looked things over, then closed it again.
I felt better Tuesday. Not great, but Monday was so bad, it seemed like it had to be the turning point. Time for a fresh start!
Except there was no fresh start. Other than having a comment to respond to—thank you, Jocelyn, it was good to meet you—nothing had changed.
I remembered Memorial Day.
Remembering Memorial Day
Today is the beginning of Memorial Day Weekend. That didn’t provide a topic immediately, but it gave me something to do; look for photographs.
The photographs I found—some of which I’m sharing here—provided the rest of the pieces to the puzzle of this week’s post: Memorial Day.
I confess that for the longest time, Memorial Day was an opportunity for family gatherings and cook-outs.
I don’t remember much about cookouts until we reached our late teens and the practice didn’t really take hold until my nieces and nephews began entering the picture. Then any excuse to have them visit was a good excuse as far as my parents were concerned.
For all of that, I don’t know that we ever talked about why we were celebrating Memorial Day. I don’t remember talking about it at home or in school (though I’m sure we must have). I’m not even sure I knew there was a deeper meaning.
One thing I am sure of is that I’m not the only one in this sad state, so here’s a quick history of the event we now call Memorial Day.
The Origin of Memorial Day
Within a year of the end of the Civil War, the graves of fallen soldiers from both sides were decorated by local citizens. Their desire was simply to honor the memories of those men and to acknowledge the sacrifices they made.
The practice was so widespread that in coming years, several cities, towns, and villages around the country (as it was then), laid claim to the fact that they were the first to observe the day. Waterloo, New York was later given the honor officially.
In 1868, General John Logan instituted the observance of Decoration Day in his General Order No. 11. He stated that he chose the date, May 30, because it did not commemorate any particular battle.
Decoration Day became an official national holiday after World War I, when it was expanded to honor all who died in defense of their country.
The official date was also changed from May 30 each year to the last Monday in May.
So it is that on the final Monday of each May, we take time to recognize, honor, and remember those who have fallen in service to the nation and on behalf of our continuing liberty.
Whatever Your Plans…
for remembering Memorial Day, I hope you’ll take a moment to remember the reason behind the holiday. You don’t have to decorate the graves of loved ones—though that tradition continues here in the south—but do pause to remember those who have given their lives to preserve and protect the liberties we all too easily take for granted.
And if you know a living veteran, thank him or her for their service, too.