"Memorial Day & Veteran's Day"

" Thank You God"

Thank you God for allowing us to live in a country worth fighting for.

Thank You for  a constitution though we are becoming too illiterate to read it.

Thank You for freedom to worship You though many use Your name in vain.

Thank You for a comfortable place of worship yet some do not because the thermostat is not right.

Thank You for freedom to vote though some will not because it rains.

Thank You for allowing us to grumble of our government, economy and lifestyle.

Thank You for freedom of speech though we often do not speak up for You.

Thank You for our democracy though we have abused its rights.

Thank You for protecting our country and giving us military who care.

Thank You for each life given and the families they've left at home.

Thank You For sending Your faith carried safely by Your Son.

Thank You that Your Son believed in me so I can believe in Him.

Thank You that He died only once so that I do not have to die twice.

Thank You that He rose again so that I will as well.

Thank you as a memorial is for those gone but never forgotten.

Thank You for allowing us to honor all that sacrifice for those they love.

Written by Bob Wood

John 15. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

" Memorial Day"

Memorial Day is much more than a three-day weekend that marks the beginning of summer. To many people, especially the nation's thousands of combat veterans, this day, which has a history stretching back all the way to the Civil War, is an important reminder of those who died in the service of their country.

Following the end of the Civil War, many communities set aside a day to mark the end of the war or as a memorial to those who had died. Some of the places creating an early memorial day include Sharpsburg, Maryland, located near Antietam Battlefield; Charleston, South Carolina; Boalsburg, Pennsylvania; Petersburg, Virginia; Carbondale, Illinois; Columbus, Mississippi; many communities in Vermont; and some two dozen other cities and towns. These observances coalesced around Decoration Day, honoring the Union dead, and the several Confederate Memorial Days.

According to Professor David Blight of the Yale University History Department, the first memorial day was observed in 1865 by liberated slaves at the historic Washington Race Course (today the location of Hampton Park) in Charleston. The site was a former Confederate prison camp as well as a mass grave for Union soldiers who died in captivity.

The freed slaves disinterred the dead Union soldiers from the mass grave to be inhumed properly reposed with individual graves, built a fence around the graveyard with an entry arch, declaring it a Union graveyard. A daring action for freed slaves to take such in the South just shortly after the Union's victory. On May 30, 1868, the freed slaves returned to the graveyard with flowers they had picked from the countryside and decorated the individual gravesites, thereby creating the first Decoration Day. Thousands of freed blacks and Union soldiers paraded from the area, followed by much patriotic singing and a picnic.

The official birthplace of Memorial Day is Waterloo, New York. The village was credited with being the place of origin because it observed the day on May 5, 1866, and each year thereafter. The friendship between General John Murray, a distinguished citizen of Waterloo, and General John A. Logan, who helped bring attention to the event nationwide, likely was a factor in the holiday's growth.

Logan had been the principal speaker in a citywide memorial observation on April 29, 1866, at a cemetery in Carbondale, Illinois, an event that likely gave him the idea to make it a national holiday. On May 5, 1868, in his capacity as commander-in-chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, a veterans' organization, Logan issued a proclamation that "Decoration Day" be observed nationwide. It was observed for the first time on May 30 of the same year; the date was chosen because it was not the anniversary of a battle. The tombs of fallen Union soldiers were decorated in remembrance.

Many of the states of the U.S. South refused to celebrate Decoration Day, due to lingering hostility towards the Union Army and also because there were relatively few veterans of the Union Army who were buried in the South. A notable exception was Columbus, Mississippi, which on April 25, 1866 at its Decoration Day commemorated both the Union and Confederate casualties buried in its cemetery.

The alternative name of "Memorial Day" was first used in 1882. It did not become more common until after World War II, and was not declared the official name by Federal law until 1967. On June 28, 1968, the United States Congress passed the Uniform Holidays Bill, which moved three holidays from their traditional dates to a specified Monday in order to create a convenient three-day weekend. The holidays included Washington's Birthday, now celebrated as Presidents' Day; Veterans Day, and Memorial Day. The change moved Memorial Day from its traditional May 30 date to the last Monday in May. The law took effect at the federal level in 1971.

After some initial confusion and unwillingness to comply, all fifty states adopted the measure within a few years. Veterans Day was eventually changed back to its traditional date. Ironically, most corporate businesses no longer close on Veterans Day, Columbus Day, or President's Day, with the day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and/or New Year's Eve often substituted as more convenient "holidays" for their employees. Memorial Day endures as a holiday which most businesses observe because it marks the beginning of the "summer vacation season." This role is filled in neighboring Canada by Victoria Day, which occurs either on May 24 or the last Monday before that date, placing it exactly one week before Memorial Day.

Waterloo's designation as the birthplace took place just in time for the village's centennial observance. The U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate unanimously passed House Concurrent Resolution 587 on May 17 and May 19, 1966 respectively, which reads in part as follows: "Resolved that the Congress of the United States, in recognition of the patriotic tradition set in motion one hundred years ago in the Village of Waterloo, NY, does hereby officially recognize Waterloo, New York as the birthplace of Memorial Day..."

On May 26, 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed a Presidential Proclamation recognizing Waterloo as the Birthplace of Memorial Day.

Veteranís Day

U.S. President Woodrow Wilson first proclaimed an Armistice Day for November 12, 1919 in honor of the peace. (The term armistice means "truce" or the end of wartime hostilities.) This day was marked with public celebrations and a two minute halt to business at 11 AM. In 1921, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was dedicated in Arlington Cemetery with a ceremony on November 11th. After this dedication, Armistice Day was adopted in many states and at the federal level as a day to honor veterans. This was made official in 1938 when an act of Congress made Armistice Day a national holiday.

In 1954, President Dwight Eisenhower changed the name of Armistice Day to Veterans Day. For several years in the 1970s, Veterans Day was observed in October by many states but in 1978 it was returned to November 11th. Today, Veterans Day is still observed on November 11th as a national holiday to honor all veterans of the United States Armed Forces. (If November 11th falls on a weekend day, the holiday is observed the following Monday.) Throughout the nation, Americans participate in parades, ceremonies, and observances to pay their respects to our servicemen and women, both past and present.

This year I planted a few seed thoughts to see what people knew about this Memorial day.  What I found is most did not know what it was.  Partly because this memorial has been shuffled around again and again.  It became like many with Christmas.  They love the holiday but do not know Christ.  I was disappointed to find that many did not know the difference in Veteran's Day or Memorial Day.  Many were quite abrasive in their comments especially when Memorial Day history was explained and it did not agree with them.  I expected that because some will become fighting mad about a college football game though they've never set foot in the doors of the institution.  I've heard people state we've been in real trouble ever since They took prayer out of schools.  My question is who are they?  As far as I know by the way, prayer is still in school as long as Christians are still in school.  Each year I hear how a college grad is to make one million more in their lifetime.  I ask where will this grad get a job.  They blame They for sending our jobs out of the country when it it is They that demand too high a wages.  They complain and do not ever vote.  They sit in our country giving their opinion on homosexuality, abortion, cloning, marriage between same gender and all the time questioning what is fair, while They don't even know for sure what a National holiday really means. 


Today I have learned that They and We are not necessarily the same people.  They the people blame others and want all done for them.  We the people serve all and care for all.  We the people do speak out for the cause of Christ.  We the people do speak for those that cannot speak for themselves from unborn to elderly.  We the people do not leave our destiny to a handful of people whether in Washington or our hometown.   We the people do not blame the ills or the successes of our lives and our nation on what they have done.  We the people are proud to be Americans even though that may not be politically correct.

Keep shining and be as good as you can be and when you have a chance; you pray for me.  May God Really Bless You!

Bro. Bob Wood

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