Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Understanding Why We Have Holidays

This past Sunday in church we had some excellent talks on both spiritual and physical sacrifices and how they tied into the importance of Memorial Day weekend. It was emphasized that too often we get caught up in the fact that we have a three-day weekend coming up, or the pools are opening, or it's time to have a big barbecue, without giving a second thought to the reason why we have that day off. So many men and women have died to preserve the freedom we enjoy today. One day out of the year has been set apart to remember those who have passed on.

As a family we decided that we would like to better show our gratitude to those who we remember throughout the year and who have given us time off of work and school. We'll start having activities related to those holidays (in addition to the swimming and barbecuing) and hopefully gain a greater respect for our country and its leaders.

Something we learned yesterday was the difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day. Decoration Day was established initially to honor those who died during the Civil War. In 1967 the day officially became Memorial Day and established as the last Monday in the month of May. Flags are lowered to half-mast from dawn until noon. The President or Vice President lays a wreath on the tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetary.

Veterans Day (initially Armistice Day) is held on the 11th day of the 11th month and is held to honor those still living who have fought to maintain freedom.

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