MY TWO CENTS:
The Memorial Day holiday weekend is upon us. For many, this weekend marks the beginning of summer with family get-togethers, BBQs and picnics, camping trips, and parades.
I have many friends and family that have served in the military over the years. One of my high-school mates posted something on Facebook earlier this week that made me pause. As a veteran, he said, “Don’t wish me a ‘Happy Memorial Day’. There is nothing happy about brave men and women dying.” I’m grateful for this friend’s service to our country…and for giving me pause to consider the purpose of Memorial Day.
As I was researching the origin and purpose of Memorial Day, I came across some really interesting information. According to History.com, Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day and was first recognized on May 30, 1868 because May 30th wasn’t an anniversary of any particular battle. General John A. Logan called for this day to be “designatedfor the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land.”
I’ll wrap up this week’s edition with a powerful poem written by a Canadian soldier in the midst of World War I. This poem is cited as one of the reasons that the poppy is seen as a symbol of remembrance.
In Flanders fields the poppies grow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
- Written by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, 1915
May we never forget the sacrifice of so many so we can have the opportunity to make it a great week!
Scott Cousino, CFP®