|Our home was overflowing
this weekend! It was the annual Morris reunion. We were represented by
family members from Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania and
North Carolina. Beds were at a premium. The living room was off limits
to adults after 11 p.m. Grandchildren of varied ages were all over the
floor! It was a time when food was not as important as having a good
time with your family.
At one time over the weekend, the conversation turned
to why some of their states celebrated Memorial Day and others did not.
I thought it was because it had originated in the North, but this was
not true. I went to the Web and this is what was found.
“Every day is Memorial Day. We thank every person who
has ever served in America’s Armed Forces. You have made us the Land of
the Free and you are the Brave. May God bless you for all you have done
One of the first was celebrated in the South. In
January 1866, women in Columbus, Ga., issued a public call for the
graves of Confederate soldiers to be covered with flowers. The first
Decora-tion Days were observed that year in Mississippi and Georgia.
“Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day
because it was a time set aside to honor the nation’s Civil War dead by
decorating their graves. The first official Decoration Day was observed
on May 30, 1868, to commemorate the sacrifices of Civil War soldiers, by
proclamation of General John A. Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic,
an army of former sailors and soldiers.”
Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederacy, stated,
“It is our duty to keep the memory of our heroes green. Yet they belong
to the whole country; they belong to America.”
We need to put the “memorial” back in Memorial Day and
observe as it was originally intended. We need to decorate the graves of
the departed so that their lives are not taken for granted. This does
not mean that we support war; it means that we want to remember their
sacrifice. Let us take one day to remember.
It is also a good time to remember our other
ancestors, who did not bear arms, but did bear the agony of living
through times of disappointment, death, and other trials. They survived
and helped to contribute to the continuation of the United States of
America, and our families.
A testimony to them is the fact that we are here
today. We cannot be sad when we see their faces, mannerisms and beliefs
repeated in their many descendants.