MY POINT OF VIEW – Memorial Day: a day to remember

by Gary Kennedy

Well, here we are again my friends. We are about to have another long weekend and it looks like it will be a beautiful day, weather wise.

For those who aren’t aware Memorial Day originally was known as Decoration Day. Unlike Veterans Day it is to pay our respects to those who have given their lives so the rest of us may be free. It is a federal holiday in the USA for honoring/mourning those soldiers, sailors and fly boys/girls (men & women), for their sacrifice.

The Civil War was the bloodiest war in our history; which ended in 1865. The first National Cemetery was established shortly after this war. The origin of this holiday is still unclear but it is believed that the first gathering to commemorate the fallen was organized by a group of former slaves in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1865. In 1966 the federal government declared Waterloo, New York, the official birthplace of Memorial Day. Waterloo was the first to host and celebrated it on May 5, 1866.

Many of us get confused between Memorial Day and Veterans Day. The difference is simple. We celebrate all the men and women who died defending our way of life; in particular our military. Veterans Day on the other hand is celebrated respecting all who have served. Many of these veterans are disabled, some seriously but didn’t die, as of yet. However, we place wreaths, flags, and flowers at the stones of those who have joined their Creator. Tears are shed, prayers are prayed. Every year at this time we thank them and acknowledge their supreme sacrifice. Unfortunately, without this sacrifice we would be enslaved by an entity that doesn’t respect life as we do.

In addition to placing flowers, wreaths, insignias and such, it is tradition that we place a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers, at Arlington National Cemetery, in Arlington, Virginia. This is a somewhat special event as this tomb represents all the unknown soldiers buried there. Also there are approximately 2,111 Union and Confederate soldiers buried beneath the tomb of the Civil War Unknowns. The inscription on the Tomb reads, “Here Rests in Honored Glory an American Soldier known but to God.” However, since the insemination of this event we have discovered the identity of that original soldier, 1st Lieutenant Michael Joseph Blassie, of St. Louis, Missouri. He died on May 11, 1972, near An Loc, South Vietnam.

The inscription has been changed since the unknown became known. It now reads, “Honoring and keeping Faith with America’s Missing Servicemen”. In another article I will give you complete details on Arlington, Virginia. It has a long and colorful history that I am sure you will enjoy reading.

After World War I, Memorial Day was expanded to encompass all who died defending their country in any and all wars. The holiday is always celebrated on the last Monday of May, which is considered the unofficial beginning of summer. It has evolved over the years and become more festive. It has become a time for family and friends to gather together and enjoy cook-outs or watch the Indy 500 together. However, it is suggested that at 3 p.m., on this serene holiday that a moment of silence take place. It’s just a moment in time to “thank the fallen for your ability to be standing.”

We respect our veterans and more so those who gave it all and are not able to join you on this sacred day. It’s good to remember and to early on teach our children history’s value to them. It’s a great lesson in respect.

Well, I and everyone here at The Town Line wish you a very happy and safe Memorial Day. Don’t forget the Moment of Silence at 3 p.m. It’s a little, wonderful thing you can do. I always feel the fallen are ever vigilant and watch over the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave. God bless and protect you and yours and have a safe and happy long weekend.


Responsible journalism is hard work!
It is also expensive!

If you enjoy reading The Town Line and the good news we bring you each week, would you consider a donation to help us continue the work we’re doing?

The Town Line is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit private foundation, and all donations are tax deductible under the Internal Revenue Service code.

To help, please visit our online donation page or mail a check payable to The Town Line, PO Box 89, South China, ME 04358. Your contribution is appreciated!

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *