Memorial Day USA- 2012
Many cities in the North and the South claim to be the first to celebrate Memorial Day in 1866 but Congress and President Lyndon Johnson officially declared Waterloo in New York as the ‘birthplace’ of Memorial Day in 1966. It was said that on May 5, 1866, a ceremony was held here to honor local soldiers and sailors who fought in the Civil War, businesses were closed for the day and residents furled flags at half-mast. It was said to be the first formal, community-wide and regular event.
How do you memorialize the American dead in her 237 year old history?
Wikipediia does it by listing all the wars since 1775 to the present day
Grand Total 2,489,335 dead or wounded ……. so for every year of the United States existence approximately 10, 504 young people died or were wounded in her name .
The community of the United States of America honors and memorialized those who have died, lost limbs and continue to serve .
ARLINGTON, Va., May 25, 2012 – More than 1,200 soldiers with the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, The Old Guard, gathered at Arlington National Cemetery here yesterday to place miniature American flags on each of its gravesites and niches for the annual “Flags In” ritual that’s been performed just before each Memorial Day for 64 years.
Army Pvt. Aaron Johnson places a small American flag in front of a gravesite headstone during the annual “Flags In” event at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., May 24, 2012. Johnson, assigned to the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, the Army’s “Old Guard,” and his comrades placed flags in front of more than 260,000 gravesite headstones and about 7,300 niches at the cemetery’s columbarium.
The Old Guard, at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, is the Army’s ceremonial unit and has honored Americans buried at the cemetery with the Flags In commemoration every year since 1948.
The regiment’s troops placed the flags on nearly 260,000 gravesites and 22,000 niches, in addition to more than 14,000 graves at the U.S. Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Home National Cemetery in Washington, D.C., an Army cemetery for residents of the Armed Forces Retirement Home-Washington
Freedom Is Not Free– Kelly Strong
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,
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 died at sea?
How many foxholes were soldiers’ graves?
No, freedom isn’t 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.
So as we enjoy the day of freedom on this Memorial Day think of young smiling faces whose hearts were afire with patriotism as they gave all they could give!