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Written by Puff Staff

Monday, 30 May 2005

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It's Memorial Day. The good news is that more people now recognize the true meaning of the holiday, rather than it just being a 3-day weekend. The bad news is the reason they now remember the true meaning. So many of America's young adults have been killed in the last few years in the service of our country. Like most people, I'm happy to have a day off, I'll be going to the beach and having a barbeque...and of course some cigars. Before we do our "day off stuff", let's take a moment to remember the fallen soldiers, and thank all of the military personnel for the freedoms we enjoy, like a fine cigar...

Memorial Day...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 John 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. (This is from http://www.usmemorialday.org/backgrnd.html There is more historical info on their site.

Everyone, enjoy your day off.
Have a smoke and a drink, but most importantly, say "thank you" to our men and women that have fought, and continue to fight in the service of the USA.

Kev




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