We’ll start with a soundtrack from Trace Adkins.

Pray with me.

God bless the ones who served and gave their all.
God bless the ones who serve our country still.
God guard them and protect them else they fall,
And bring them safely home if it’s His will.
So we pray… Amen

Memorial Day History

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation’s service. There are many stories as to its actual beginnings, with over two dozen cities and towns laying claim to being the birthplace of Memorial Day. There is also evidence that organized women’s groups in the South were decorating graves before the end of the Civil War: a hymn published in 1867, “Kneel Where Our Loves are Sleeping” by Nella L. Sweet carried the dedication “To The Ladies of the South who are Decorating the Graves of the Confederate Dead” (Source: Duke University’s Historic American Sheet Music, 1850-1920). While Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966, it’s difficult to prove conclusively the origins of the day. It is more likely that it had many separate beginnings; each of those towns and every planned or spontaneous gathering of people to honor the war dead in the 1860′s tapped into the general human need to honor our dead, each contributed honorably to the growing movement that culminated in Gen Logan giving his official proclamation in 1868. It is not important who was the very first, what is important is that Memorial Day was established. Memorial Day is not about division. It is about reconciliation; it is about coming together to honor those who gave their all.

Read the rest here.

Memorial Day at Arlington National Cemetery
From 2007, but worth revisiting.

After spending much of the last six years covering the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, I felt like I needed to visit Arlington National Cemetery this Memorial Day weekend. I felt like I owed it some time.

I went with my family – my pregnant wife and my young daughter. Separately and together, my wife and I have covered a lot of heart-wrenching stories around the world, but Section 60 was unlike any place we had been.

Read the whole thing.

Links

Memorial Day
Today we honor those men and women who went into our nation’s service and never returned. It originally began as Decoration Day shortly after the Civil War. Its specific origins have been disputed; some say it started in Waterloo, New York, while others credit freed slaves in Charleston, South Carolina. Both traditions combined into a national day of remembrance within a generation, but oddly …
by Ed Morrissey

Memorial Day:A Day Of Honor And A National Moment Of Remembra…
As I’ve gotten older, my appreciation for this day has grown immensely, as has my education of its history. Originally declared ‘Decoration Day,’ there is some dispute as to when it was first observed. Some say women’s groups in the South were decorating the graves of Confederate soldiers before the end of the War Between The States, as evidenced by the following song. Kneel Where Our Loves A…
by no2liberals

Memorial Day 2009: Remember the Families
Our friend Mike at Cop the Truth is the most faithful follower of losses of airborne troopers of any person on the Internet. The Captain’s Journal has tried to be the same for Marines. Not openly, mind you, but silently and discretely. Beginning in 2005 and going through the present, whenever a Marine was killed in the Anbar Province in Iraq (and now beginning in Afghanistan), I have tried to m
by Herschel Smith

Memorial Day v. Veterans Day
I’ve seen a few gripes on Twitter and elsewhere about President Obama and others seeming not to understand the difference between Memorial Day, which is set aside to honor those who died in combat, and Veterans Day, which honors those who served in the military. This has long been a pet peeve of mine but the [...]
by James Joyner

Memorial Day 2009
This video was created by Larry Crawford of Collierville, TN. and uploaded to YouTube by the Grouch at Right Truth. My Memorial Day Message hereGod Bless Them Every One!
by Debbie

Happy Memorial Day 2009
This Memorial Day, Heritage honors those who serve in the United States Armed Forces, their families, and all military retirees and veterans. From the battlefields of the Civil War–after which the first Memorial Day was observed–to the Forest of Argonne, the beaches of Normandy, the islands of the Pacific, the Chosin Reservoir, the jungles of Vietnam, the deserts of Iraq, the mountains of Afghanis
by Mackenzie Eaglen

The final two entries demonstrate that even the left now celebrates those who have fallen, now that the left’s manchild is in the Oval Office. I’m glad they finally came around.

Paul Rieckhoff: This Memorial Day, Honor the Fallen
Your weekend newspaper—assuming your town still has one—will be stuffed with pages of glossy advertisements for holiday sales. Your local TV news will do a story on the folks waiting in line in the dark for your local mall to open its doors. All weekend, people will be firing up their grills or spending a day at the beach. Nothing’s wrong with enjoying your three-day weekend. But I worry that[...]
by Paul Rieckhoff

Memorial Day Roll Call Honors 148,000 Veterans
RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Abts, Richard. Adamski, Walter. Ahlman, Enoch. The names are whisked away by the hot, gusting wind as soon as they are spoken, forgotten in the stream of the next name and the next name and the next name. Fuller, Addison. Fuller, Mary. Furlong, John. The story of America could be told through these names, tales of bravery and hesitation, of dreams achieved or deferred[...]
by The Huffington Post News Editors

UPDATES:
Lost Heroes of the War on Terror: Gallant Deeds and Untold Tales
Despite taking place in the Information Age, very few of the heroic exploits of American soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines since September 11, 2001, have made their way into the living rooms of ordinary Americans — at least in any lasting way.
by Jeff Emmanuel

To you from failing hands we throw the torch
In Flanders Fields the poppies blow 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 torc[...]
from The Jawa Report

Remembering
Today is a rather unusual Memorial Day, in that as we remember those who have fallen to preserve the American Republic, the new President is proceeding for the most part according to the assumption that conflicts never need to be solved with wars. All we need to do is understand each other a little better, show the opposition a willingness to give, to compromise, build a few schools, teach our c[...]
from Jihad Watch

Memorial Day 2009
John McCain grew up the son and grandson of bona fide war heroes. In Faith of My Fathers (written with Mark Salter), McCain reveals that each had a rebellious streak and a skeleton or two in the closet. McCain notes that in the closing days of World War II his grandfather was relieved of his command. Although his father suffered no such professional disgrace, McCain reveals that he was an alcoholic.

There was never any question that McCain would follow in the footsteps of his illustrious forebears. In his memoir, McCain powerfully conveys the suffocating sense of a preordained life. McCain acts out his resentment at the Naval Academy, barely escaping expulsion while graduating fifth from the bottom of his class. His father, however, was untroubled: “I believe he assumed that, like him, I would be absorbed into the traditions of the place whether I wished to or not, and that when the time arrived for me to face a real test of character, I would not disappoint him.”
by Scott Johnson at Power Line

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