+++++ Beacon 4 God's Memorial Day Tribute Beacon 4 God's Memorial Day Tribute

Celebrated
in May on the
last Monday.


Memorial Day a legal holiday, observed annually on the last Monday in May in most of the United States, in honor of the nation's armed services personnel killed in wartime. The holiday, originally called Decoration Day, is traditionally marked by parades, memorial speeches and ceremonies, and the decoration of graves with flowers and flags, hence the original name. Memorial Day was first observed on May 30, 1868, on the order of General John Alexander Logan for the purpose of decorating the graves of the American Civil War dead. It was observed on May 30 until 1971, when most states changed to a newly established federal schedule of holiday observance. Confederate Memorial Day, formerly a legal holiday in many southern states, is still observed on the fourth Monday in April in Alabama, the last Monday in April in Mississippi, and April 26 in Florida and Georgia.

MAKE A FAMILY MEMORY

On this Memorial Weekend take a moment to gather the family around the computer and share this Memorial page together.

Most of us get so busy with the holiday and preparing for the barbeques, picnics, going to the beach or lake... that we forget that this day became a Holiday so that we would take time out to REMEMBER those special men and women who gave their lives so that our families can live in a FREE country.

As you share this page and read the stories, poems and see the pictures, take the time to share stories that you remember of friends and family that died in a War. This is a great time to tell about a grandfather who fought in World War II, a great grandfather who served in World War I or maybe a great great great grandfather who fought in the Civil War.

How do you have a Memorial Service for a loved one who has died?

You can visit their Grave and take some fresh flowers

Look at old pictures and share your thoughts and memories with loved ones and friends

A Memorial may take the form of a statue, monument, building, or park.

candle

We Remember! candle by Web Lady

Memorial Day Flag Etiquette

Flags are used to decorate the graves on Memorial Day.

When flying the flag, it should be flown at half-staff until noon.

More information can be found at:
US Flag Code (36 US Code 10)

Why do we celebrate Memorial Day and Veterans Day?
Aren't they the same thing?

Memorial Day honors the American Military who have died in their service for the country.

Veterans Day: Is to appreciate all who have served their country both alive and dead.

The Army describes the two holidays at this page: ~US Army Page~

What is the purpose of Memorial Day?

"Logan instructed Army installations to decorate graves and conduct special services as circumstances permitted. The general wrote the celebration had two purposes, other than honoring war undivided republic, and to renew our nation's pledge to assist the soldier's and sailor widows and orphans."
~
From US Army Page~

Memorial Day, also called Decoration Day, is a patriotic holiday in the United States. It is a day to honor Americans who gave their lives for their country. Originally, Memorial Day honored military personnel who died in the Civil War (1861-1865). The holiday now also honors those who died in any war while serving the United States.

Memorial Day is a legal holiday in most states. Most Northern States and some Southern States observe Memorial Day the last Monday in May. This date was made a federal holiday by a law that became effective in 1971. Most of the Southern States also have their own days for honoring the Confederate dead. Mississippi celebrates the last Monday in April as Confederate Memorial Day. Alabama celebrates on the fourth Monday in April. Georgia observes this holiday on April 26. North Carolina and South Carolina celebrate it on May 10. Virginia observes the holiday on the last Monday in May. Louisiana observes it on June 3, and Tennessee has a holiday called Confederate Decoration Day on that date. Texas celebrates Confederate Heroes Day on January 19.

Observance. On Memorial Day, people place flowers and flags on the graves of military personnel. Many organizations, including Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and fraternal groups, march in military parades and take part in special programs. These programs often include the reading of Abraham Lincoln's - "Gettysburg Address". Memorials are often dedicated on this day. Military exercises and special programs are held at Gettysburg National Military Park and at the National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia. In addition, to honor those who died at sea, some United States ports organize ceremonies in which miniature ships filled with flowers are set afloat on the water.

Since the end of World War I, Memorial Day has also been Poppy Day. Volunteers sell small, red artificial poppies in order to help disabled veterans. In recent years, the custom has grown in most families to decorate the graves of loved ones on Memorial Day.

History. Several communities claim to have originated Memorial Day. But in 1966, the U.S. government proclaimed Waterloo, New York, the birthplace of the holiday. The people of Waterloo first observed Memorial Day on May 5, 1866, to honor soldiers killed in the Civil War. Businesses were closed, and people decorated soldiers' graves and flew flags at half-mast.

One story of Memorial Day says it was started by former slaves on May 1, 1865 in Charleston, SC to honor 257 dead Union Soldiers who had been buried in a mass grave in a Confederate prison camp. They dug up the bodies and worked for two weeks to give them a proper burial as gratitude for fighting for their freedom. They then held a parade of 10,000 people led by 2,800 Black childen where they marched, sang and celebrated.
Thanks to Abstract Goldsmith for this nugget of history that most of us never learned in school. (added to this page on Memorial Day 5-30-2016)

Major General John A. Logan in 1868 named May 30 as a special day for honoring the graves of Union soldiers. Logan served as commander in chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of Union veterans of the Civil War. They had charge of Memorial Day celebrations in the Northern States for many years. The American Legion took over this duty after World War I.

A Memorial Day Prayer

Eternal God,
Creator of years, of centuries,
Lord of whatever is beyond time,
Maker of all species and master of all history --
How shall we speak to you
from our smallness and inconsequence?
Except that you have called us to worship you
in spirit and in truth;
You have dignified us with loves and loyalties;
You have lifted us up with your lovingkindnesses.
Therefore we are bold to come before you without groveling
(though we sometimes feel that low)
and without fear
(thought we are often anxious).
We sing with spirit and pray with courage
because you have dignified us;
You have redeemed us from the aimlessness
of things' going meaninglessly well.
God, lift the hearts of those
for whom this holiday is not just diversion,
but painful memory and continued deprivation.
Bless those whose dear ones have died
needlessly, wastefully (as it seems)
in accident or misadventure.
We remember with compassion those who have died
serving their countries
in the futility of combat.
There is none of us but must come to bereavement and separation,
when all the answers we are offered
fail the question death asks of each of us.
We believe that you will provide for us
as others have been provided with the fulfillment of
"Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted."

Memorial Day Poetry

Eulogy for a Veteran

Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there, I do not sleep.

I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.

I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the Gentle autumn rain.

When you awaken in the mornings hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
of quiet birds in circled flight,
I am the soft stars that shine at night.

Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there, I did not die.

Author Unknown

War Memories (1941) by J.E.Miles

Silently waiting for their Captains command,
these brave fighting soldiers of second brigand.
There goes the order, they repeat the shout,
"Over the top men, everyone out!"

Into the thick of it, a cry of dismay,
for many are wounded in this bloody fray.
Battle after battle, takes place all around,
then suddenly it is silent we don't hear a sound.

The battle is over, the victory is complete,
and the remainder of the enemy surrender in defeat.
But what of the dead comrades who died so in vain,
and the wounded soldiers suffering in pain.

The burial squad set forth upon its given task,
such a price to pay for victory, "Is it right,"
we ask? No music nor glory accompanies this chore,
In search of fallen buddies, victims of war.

Freedom Is Not Free

I watched the flag pass by one day.
It fluttered in the breeze
A young Marine saluted it, and then
He stood at ease.

I looked at him in uniform
So young, so tall, so proud
With hair cut square and eyes alert
He'd stand out in any crowd.

I thought, how many men like him
Had fallen through the years?
How many died on foreign soil?
How many mothers' tears?
How many Pilots' planes shot down?
How many foxholes were soldiers' graves?
No, Freedom is not free.

I heard the sound of taps one night,
When everything was still.
I listened to the bugler play
And felt a sudden chill.

I wondered just how many times
That taps had meant "Amen"
When a flag had draped a coffin
of a brother or a friend.

I thought of all the children,
Of the mothers and the wives,
Of fathers, sons and husbands
With interrupted lives.

I thought about a graveyard
at the bottom of the sea
Of unmarked graves in Arlington.
No, Freedom isn't free!!
Author Unknown

God Bless America

"... from these honored dead, we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve these dead shall not have died in vain...

~Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address~

To read more about the song "Taps" Click Here

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Star~ Memorials and Casualty Files ~Star

Star African-American Civil War Memorial
Star Air Force Memorial Foundation
Star Arlington National Cementry
Star Gulf War Veterans Memorial(Personal Home Page)
Star Names on the Wall
Star Tomb of the Unknowns
Star USS Arizona Memorial
Star U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation
Star Vietnam Veterans Memorials Around The World
Star Vietnam War Memorial by K 3/1
Star Vietnam Women's Memorial Project
Star Korean War Veterans Memorial

Star~ MIA/POW ~Star


Star PoW/MIA Forum
Star "Operation Just Cause"adopt a MIA/POW
Star Vietnam-Era Prisoner-Of-War/Missing-In-Action Datatbase
Star Canadian POW-MIA


Star~ Memorial Day Messages ~Star

Star Air Force leaders send Memorial Day Message
Star PRAYER FOR PEACE, MEMORIAL DAY, 1997

Star~ Memorial Day Pages~Star


Star Memorial Day in Cyberspace
Star "A Day of Remembrance" by The American legion
Star Memorial Day by Annie
Star Memorial Day Poem
Star Memorial Day by Davis Virtual Market
Star What I'll be doing for Memorial Day by James E. Leiker
Star Remembrance-Reflections, Memories, Images of Vietnam Past
Star Memorial Day by Billie
Star Memorial Day

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Star~ The Wars ~Star


Star Revolutionary War (1775-1783)
Star War of 1812 (1812-1814)
Star American Civil War (1861-1865)
Star Spainish American War (1898)
Star World War I (1914-1918)
Star World War II (1939-1945)
Star Korean War (1950-1953)
Star Vietnam War (1961-1975)
Star Gulf War Chronicles (1995)


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This Memorial page was in the May Issue of: Just 4 Kids Magazine

1999 Email: Beacon 4 God



From the beaches of Normandy to Iwo Jima, Korea, Vietnam and Kuwait, millions of American men and women risked death or lost their lives during the great wars of the 20th century. Their sacrifice and unwavering pursuit of freedom has not been forgotten.

"Greater love has no one than this,
than to lay down his life for his friends."
John 15:13

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This page began May 27, 1998



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