Today is a federal holiday in the United States. Memorial Day. Dating back to customs following the Civil War of decorating the graves of fallen soldiers, it was originally called Decoration Day and slowly, over time and years and wars, became a national day of remembering.
I remember my childhood, all of us packed into a car, driving to Elmwood Cemetery, putting flowers on my grandfather’s grave, playing as children do around the old headstones, all the little American flags at the section a little further away where the soldiers were buried, and then the sudden round of a twenty-one gun salute.
It is right to remember those who sacrificed their lives for their countrymen.
Those of you in other lands across the oceans and hemispheres have similar days for honoring your fallen men and women. Though each country calls such an occasion a different name under a different flag, it is the act of honoring those who have fallen that holds a universal meaning.
This song is from the Ken Burns/PBS production of The War. It came to mind today and I would like to share it with you now.