” On thy grave the rain shall fall from the eyes of a mighty nation!”

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.”  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.

Memorial Day

“Dulce et decorum est”

The bugle echoes shrill and sweet,
But not of war it sings to-day.
The road is rhythmic with the feet
Of men-at-arms who come to pray.

The roses blossom white and red
On tombs where weary soldiers lie;
Flags wave above the honored dead
And martial music cleaves the sky.

Above their wreath-strewn graves we kneel,
They kept the faith and fought the fight.
Through flying lead and crimson steel
They plunged for Freedom and the Right.

May we, their grateful children, learn
Their strength, who lie beneath this sod,
Who went through fire and death to earn
At last the accolade of God.

In shining rank on rank arrayed
They march, the legions of the Lord;
He is their Captain unafraid,
The Prince of Peace . . . Who brought a sword.

Joyce Kilmer

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10 Comments on “” On thy grave the rain shall fall from the eyes of a mighty nation!””

  1. olof1 Says:

    As You say, it isn’t important where it started.
    But I like that You have a day like this, we don’t but then again we haven’t been to war since 1814 and even if we had had a day like this it would most likely be “kidnapped” by the nazis, they have a tendensy to do so in my country.

    I think You’ll like my post today, a big part of it is about Rockport Massachusetts 🙂

    Have a nice Memorial Day!
    Christer.

    • katry Says:

      Christer,
      Your country and the Nazis have quite a history.

      We have war dead from yesterday in Afghanistan. It’s a sad history.

      I will definitely fro by-I try to every day. I so love your pictures!

      It was a perfect day.

  2. Morpfy Says:

    On the lighter side of this Memorial Day weekend, I see a lot of BBQ’ing going on. A tune just for that…..
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  3. Birgit Says:

    Remembrance and reconciliation. Very important, especially in my home country. We all know last centuries history, far too many people, including many American soldiers died in WW I+II. It shouldn’t ever happen again.

    • katry Says:

      Birgit,
      The numbers dead from the War to End all Wars and the Second World War are beyond belief.

      We still have soldiers dying. All of it must end.

  4. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    I hope your Memorial Day weather is as good as it is up here in my yard. Cool breeze and lots of sun.
    I’m not grilling. I’m digging in the dirt and eating delivery pizza. Not at the same time. Rocky is drooling.
    Enjoy the day.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      The weather here was perfect as well: hot in the sun and then in the late afternoon it started to cool down, and I needed my sweatshirt.

      My friends grille, and we had a great day.

      Gracie got a half of a hot dog as a treat!

      Hope yours was a great day!!

  5. Coleen Burnett Says:

    It’s a little disconcerting as I scour the web today and see people wish a “Happy Memorial Day”. Isn’t this day meant to be a bit somber? That cheeseburger you just grilled did not come without a price.

    Is it just me?

    Hope you had a great day… 🙂

    Coleen

    • katry Says:

      Hi Coleen,
      I feel the same way. Someone wished me a Happy Memorial Day, and I was taken aback. I suggested we say something like Blessings on this Memorial Day.

      I had a great day with friends. I hope yours was the same!

      Kat


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