Monday, May 27, 2013

Blood of Heroes Never Dies

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.
                                                                 Moina Michael, 1915

This is a poem inspired by another poem, "In Flanders Fields."

Today is Memorial Day, a holiday recognized around our nation to honor those fallen soldiers who have given the ultimate sacrifice for us all.  We acknowledge and our grateful to our current service men and women, as well, and there are many events and shopping stores that honor them with discounted admissions and discounted prices.  (My email was bombarded with all the sales events happening today).

Many people like to celebrate today's holiday with trips to the beach, having festivities like barbecues or taking advantage of all those sales in the stores or on-line.  That is all awesome as long as we don't neglect the reason we are able to enjoy these activities.  

Here are just a few fun facts about Memorial Day:

  • Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day 
  • Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on May 5, 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic and was first observed on May 30, 1868.
  • First state to officially recognize holiday - Waterloo, NY 1873
Sadly, what this holiday stands for has been lost on many Americans; some have forgotten the true meaning of Memorial Day .  On December 2000 a resolution called the "National Moment of Remembrance" was passed.  It asks Americans to take a Moment at 3 pm local time to observe in their own way a Moment of remembrance.  (All of this information and the above fun facts can be found at Memorial Day History).

I didn't want our family to ignore the meaning of today's holiday so we had a moment to talk about it today with the kids.  Our youngest is too young but I decided it's best to educate my eldest, Brody, who is five about what today meant.  I did so briefly and simply.  I let him know that Daddy was off work today because it was a day to remember and give thanks to our country's service men and women who have given up their lives for our freedom and to protect us.  I explained that we our thankful to those in the military (he calls them soldiers who march for the King) because of all their hard work to give us our freedom so today is a special day to honor them.  He asked, "Why did they have to die?" I explained that they go on missions like wars that are dangerous so that they can keep us protected here at home.  I explained wars as simple and best I could.  I know it's heavy info for a young child and that he may not be ready for too much details so I didn't discuss it at length.

He repeated it all back to me and I know he may not understand it fully but I'm glad to educate him about this at a young age so that he can begin to have an appreciation for our military. He had that amazed expression on his face while we talked about it. Tonight, when we say our prayers, I'll be sure to ask him to say a special prayer for our fallen soldiers and all who serve to further remind him the importance of today.

Who knows?  One day, he may join their ranks and serve our country, too, while he explains the meaning of today's holiday to his own little boy.  I know I'll be happy for him with whatever he decides to do with his career but what parent wouldn't be proud to have a son, a "soldier who marches for the King?"  I would be the proudest mom in the world! 

Don't forget to say thank you to a military personnel and include them all in your prayers tonight because without them, we wouldn't be able to appreciate this ...

"Land of the free, home of the brave."

Thank you to all the service men and women that I know personally, those that I don't and to those that have passed serving our country.  Thank you also to the military families  for your sacrifices, for sharing your loved ones to protect all that we cherish in our lives. 

Happy Memorial Day!!!


What did you do to honor those who have and continue to serve our nation?  Any special traditions you and your family observe on this holiday?  

Visit Brody's Files for more posts and discussions I encounter with my son.