A lot of people don’t understand what Memorial Day is… Well It is a day of remembrance, a day to remember what our veterans have sacrificed for us. A day to say Thank you. But let me tell you where it started… During the Civil war, Union soldiers who were prisoners of war were held at the Charleston Race Course and over 250 of those prisoners died there and were buried in unmarked graves.
Many of the Freedmen (freed slaves) knew of the Union dead and decided to honor them in thanks. Together with teachers and missionaries, blacks in 1865 in Charleston organized a May Day ceremony covered by the New York Tribune and other national papers. Years later, it was called the “First Decoration Day”.
Today we celebrate with speeches, parades, picnics, parts and all sorts of events. Even the Indianapolis 500 has been held on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend since 1911. And although many of these events do honor our veterans, many tend to forget.
But we really need to go back to that day in 1865 when a group of freedmen gave thanks to the Union soldiers that gave their lives for their freedom.
We need to celebrate that freedom everyday by fighting side by side with our military forces. We may not be on the battlefield with them but we are on the frontline of the home front , keeping it safe, secure and free for them to come home to. We are the ones to keep our politicians in line, to make sure they are keeping their pact with us and not becoming greedy with power. To make sure they remember that they work for us. To remind them that many of us have sacrificed our family members to help protect the rights that THEY are supposed to be protecting as well.
So on this Memorial Day as you go to your picnic, vacation or special event but take a moment to remember and be thankful for all those that have fallen for our right to be free. It was an extraordinary gift and deserves a moment of your time.