Memorial Day 2016

Today in the United States it is Memorial Day/Decoration Day. This is a day in which we remember those who died in Military Service. It began after the Civil War as a day for the nation to decorate the graves of the Union and/or Confederate war dead with flower, it began as two separate days and were subsequently merged and the honor of decorating was brought to the other wars dead as well.¬† It often is confused with Veterans day or just though about as a three day weekend to mark the beginning of Summer. Both of these are serious problems we have with this Holiday. It’s the American equivalent of Remembrance Day. Here’s a poem from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow about Memorial Day it was published in 1882 in The Atlantic magazine.

Decoration Day
Sleep, comrades, sleep and rest
On this Field of the Grounded Arms,
Where foes no more molest,
Nor sentry’s shot alarms!
Ye have slept on the ground before,
And started to your feet
At the cannon’s sudden roar,
Or the drum’s redoubling beat.
But in this camp of Death
No sound your slumber breaks;
Here is no fevered breath,
No wound that bleeds and aches.
All is repose and peace,
Untrampled lies the sod;
The shouts of battle cease,
It is the Truce of God!
Rest, comrades, rest and sleep!
The thoughts of men shall be
As sentinels to keep
Your rest from danger free.
Your silent tents of green
We deck with fragrant flowers
Yours has the suffering been,
The memory shall be ours.

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