We Remember, We Honor, We Celebrate

Today all across this great land we call America, we pause to remember those who have fallen. We give thanks for their final sacrifice, for their love of country, and we say prayers for them, for their families, for the country they serve. We fly flags to honor their service, to observe our own dedication to America. But, being the ever optimistic Americans we are, we have turned this day formerly known as Decoration Day into a nation wide party, a celebration of patriotism, family, summer’s promise, and just any old other thing we choose it to be.

Tracking the origins of Memorial Day proves to be a somewhat difficult task. Some attribute it to former African slaves paying tribute to fallen Union soldiers. There is strong evidence that women of the South were decorating graves before the end of the Civil War. On May 30, 1868, flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. By 1890 all the northern states were observing the day. The South would not observe the same date until after World War I, when it became more than an observance recognizing those fallen in the Civil War.

So, it took another war to unite Americans in remembrance of those fallen heroes. Stubborn aren’t we? Here in the South, I grew up visiting the cemetery on birthdays, holidays, and whenever my mother felt a need to connect with those gone from her – but never forgotten. Each visit to the cemetery (my mother never let us call it a graveyard) was a fascinating experience to me as a child.

Always walk around the plots, never step on one. Wander away as my mother knelt in the grass coaxed lovingly into growth in the red Georgia clay. Look first for relatives, those my mother spoke of, and those strange names I was unfamiliar with. Look for the little stone with the lamb on top – the resting place of my mother’s baby sister, Carole. Look for more lambs and little angels – they were dotted around the older section with alarming frequency, something I noticed even as a child. Take note of all the flowers.

It was a fine thing for a family to have many who remembered to honor their dead. I also very vividly remember the little American flags stuck in the ground on days such as Memorial Day and the Fourth of July. Not too long ago, I found a small cemetery with a mass grave of Confederate soldiers who mostly died of an outbreak, possibly flu, during the war. Those little flags had been put in the ground around the few individual markers. I wondered if they minded that 50 star flag, or if they were grateful to be remembered, honored, prayed over.

It was something I lived with as a child, this presence of the dead. I never thought much about it until recently. Here you literally cannot stray far outside your own yard without encountering some reminder of the war fought on this soil, and those fallen. As a child, many of our parents remembered grandparents who fought in the war. It is alive for us, and so has colored how we honor our dead, those who have fallen in battle, and those who in the words of many a fire and brimstone preacher, “The LORD has called home to be with HIM.” Believe me, no disrespect intended, just an indication of a little local flavor.

And so, I find myself wondering. Is this a southern thing? Is it an American thing? Or is it something common to all of us, this need to return to the place we left our loved ones for the final time on this earth? Is it a regional custom, tied deep in the roots we are so tangled in, or a need born with our souls? I think it must be the latter, with a twist of regional observances that may vary from place to place, but sooth the heart of those who wait here, on this side. Perhaps, after all is said and done, it meets our needs more than just paying respect to the dead. We wander there, among those peaceful plots, wondering, imagining, where are they? How is it there? When will my time come? Will I be with them again? Then, that most human of all questions. Who will honor me in my time, when I lay beneath the grass coaxed lovingly into growth in the red Georgia clay?

I hope you enjoyed the video of my hometown. I couldn’t be more proud to live in a place like this little town. We Remember, we honor, we celebrate.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

235 Responses to We Remember, We Honor, We Celebrate

  1. fleporeblog says:

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Trumpismine says:

    Menargie,thanks.
    My Country
    God grant that not only the love of Liberty
    But a thorough knowledge of the rights of man
    May pervade all nations of the earth so that a philosopher may set his foot anywhere on it’s surface,and say,
    This is my country.
    Benjamin Franklin

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Thank you for the article. We had the same experiences growing up and going to the Cemetery. I am glad I accompanied my mother and grandmother because I know where a lot of my relatives are buried. Some had served in WW1 and WW2. The land for the cemetery was donated by my great great grandfather who had fought in the Civil War. The little cemetery is now surrounded by a housing development but it’s still there.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. GrandpaM says:

    For some reason my Macbook screen is blurry. We’ll never forget the ones who gave all and allwho served and serve. Thank you!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Pam says:

    Liked by 4 people

  6. Pam says:

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Mncpo(ret) says:

    A few years ago on Memorial Day, we were having a BBQ in the backyard, we called my Dad (God rest his soul), and all shouted “THANK YOU”. He started to cry. I was a retired CPO, never seen or heard my Dad cry. He said, “Nobody has ever done that for me.” He and his brothers volunteered for WWII. He was the only one to come home.

    Liked by 9 people

  8. SouthCentralPA says:

    I would urge anyone with a few moments today to re-read Lincoln’s Lyceum Address. http://www.abrahamlincolnonline.org/lincoln/speeches/lyceum.htm There is not a power on earth that can destroy America from without, and our enemies cannot destroy us from within unless we lie down and let them.

    I have three great-great-uncles lying in honored graves in Ohio who died defeating the Democrat menace in the 1860s, and I will NOT let them down.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sugarhillhardrock says:

      My ancestors watch me everyday. My duty to live up to their example. Our family has 4 who served in WW II, and more who served going back to the Civil War. Each side has ancestors who helped found the Republic. We are in awe of them and think of them regularly.
      God bless those who did not come home alive. I have 3 local friends who share the experience of growing up with out a father. All three were killed in Germany after January ’45. My first considered thoughts this morning were a prayer of thanks for them. The tributes written here are inspirationally beautiful.
      Thanks to all you Treeper Patriots on this sacred day.

      Like

  9. CorwinAmber says:

    On this solemn occasion, I wish all who serve(d) and their families a Memorial Day worthy of the sacrifices our military has made since the beginning (Lexington & Concord anyone?). My own meager contributions to this great republic pale in comparison and I shall always be in your debt and you will always be in my thoughts…your actions truly did MAGA!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Pam says:

    Liked by 4 people

  11. amwick says:

    My father was a pilot in WWII. He died when I was a kid, so I never got to ask him about it. I have some pics, but still, I would have loved to hear about his time in the service. He didn’t go overseas, I think he joined at the tail end.. and ended up as an instructor for other pilots.

    Anyway, all the years I was growing up, my mother had a plastic rose in a gray vase, it was on her bureau forever. When I was older I asked her, and she told me about her first beau, a young sailor that never returned from Pearl Harbor. She kept his last gift with her every day of her life, she never forgot him…neither have I.

    She taught me many things, to respect the flag for one, and to hold dear the memory of a young man who made the ultimate sacrifice. I wish I knew his name, she never revealed that, but I think about him, I do. I believe my mother and father are together again, after decades, but I also hope she sees the sailor whose memory she cherished.

    Liked by 4 people

  12. ImHopeful says:

    Like many posting here today, I do so with tears flowing freely. Thank you to all of you who have shared stories of your loved ones and brothers/sisters in arms who fought and died for our great country. My heart breaks for each of you who endures the loss of a person dear to you who did not make it home, and those of you who made it home while some you fought with did not.

    As President Trump remarked today, I strive to be a person who is worthy of those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country, our freedom, our very way of life. And, I vow to never take those sacrifices for granted. Thank you to every man and woman who laid down their life for all of us.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. blind no longer says:

    Thank You Menagerie for the wonderful post. I know this area so well. My mother-in-law lives in Chickamauga Ga, just a few minutes from the Chickamauga Battlefield Park. My husband grew up there and used to ride his bike to the park and play/explore. It is such a beautiful area, just about 10 mins to Ringgold. Going in to this area in a small town called Lafayette, they put up crosses and flags with the names of every person who died in different wars in that community. Truly a heart moving site, and makes you truly realize just how much has been sacrificed for our freedom.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. fallingsnow says:

    Never forget, always remember and grateful … And their sacrifices will not be in vain.
    As President Lincoln said,

    http://teachingamericanhistory.org/library/document/gettysburg-address/

    Like

    • Cuppa Covfefe says:

      GOD Bless the men and women of the US armed forces, who have sacrificed their lives, livelihoods, sometimes families, to create and protect the freedom which we so cherish today. As President Lincoln said long ago, in his immortal Gettysburg Address,

      “But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate – we can not consecrate – we can not hallow – this ground.

      The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.

      It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us – that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion – that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain – that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom – and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

      While those primping SJW BLM, Antifa. etc. are kneeling down in “protest”, a protest which could only happen because of the sacrifices of the great brave men and women in our military, and the Founding Fathers of our country, who often lost everything, their families, their livelihoods, their possessions and property, and even their health and their lives so that WE (and these perps) could live in a free and wonderful country.

      None of Kaepernick, NY Jets &co. would last more than a few seconds with General Washington and his crew crossing the Delware; nor with the forces fighting for Iwo Jima or on the Invasion of Normandy. No, they’d turn and run. If they even made it through boot camp.

      Maybe they should get down on their knees in church and pray for forgiveness, salvation and guidance. Our Founding Fathers did that before they did anything else… They deserve honor and praise and remembrance this Memorial Day, too.

      The High Personal Cost of signing The Declaration of Independence (from http://www.crossroad.to ; there are other sites with bios of many of the signers as well)
      “What happened to the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence?
      • Five signers were captured by the British as traitors and tortured before they died.
      • Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned.
      • Two lost their sons serving in the Revolutionary Army, another had two sons captured.
      • Nine of the 56 fought and died from wounds or hardships of the Revolutionary War. They signed and they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor.
      • John Q. Adams, son of John Adams, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, wrote: “Posterity! You will never know how much it cost the present generation to preserve your freedoms. I hope you will make good use of it.”

      What kind of men were they?
      • Twenty-four were lawyers and jurists. Eleven were merchants, nine were farmers and large plantation owners: men of means, well educated. But they signed the Declaration of Independence knowing full well that the penalty would be death if they were captured.
      • In early September 1776, the British burned the home of Francis Lewis and seized his wife. Held in prison with no bed and no changes of clothing, she was finally released after two years of suffering and her health gone. She died soon after her release.
      • Thomas McKean was so hounded by the British that he was forced to move his family almost constantly. He served in the Congress without pay, and his family was kept in hiding. His possessions were taken from him, and poverty was his reward.
      • John Hart was driven from his wife’s bedside as she was dying. Their 13 children fled for their lives. His fields and his grist-mill were laid to waste. For more than a year he lived in forests and caves, returning home to find his wife dead and his children vanished. A few weeks later he died from exhaustion and a broken heart.
      • Lewis Morris’ New Jersey home was looted and burned and his grist mills destroyed. While he eluded capture by sleeping in caves and forest, his ailing wife died and his 13 children were scattered. His failing health forced him to leave the New Jersey legislature in 1779, and he died less than three years after the Declaration was signed.
      • Richard Stockton rushed home to Princeton, New Jersey, in 1776 to rescue his family from approaching British troops. He was captured and thrown into prison, where he was repeatedly beaten and kept near starvation. The British also destroyed his home and burned his papers. As a result of mistreatment, he became an invalid and died in 1781.
      • John Morton was criticized by many of his Pennsylvania neighbors for breaking the tie vote of the Pennsylvania delegation in favor of independence. The criticism depressed him deeply. Early in 1777 he became ill and died.
      • Philip Livingston’s 150,000 acre estate was seized by the British, but he continued to contribute his dwindling fortune to Congress for the war effort. The strain of the revolutionary struggle also depleted his health, and he died less than two years after signing.
      • Robert Morris issued over one million dollars of personal credit to finance the war effort, and raised $200,000 to defeat the British at Yorktown. In 1798, his personal finances collapsed. Never reimbursed by the country, he spent three years in debtor’s prison.
      • Joseph Hewes of North Carolina gave tirelessly of himself to create a navy and help General Washington. Working long hours without adequate food and rest, he lost his health and died in 1779 at age 49.
      • Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter and trader, saw his ships sunk or captured by the British Navy. Although he lost his wealth and was forced to sell his land, he continued to serve in the Virginia Legislature. He sold his home and properties to pay his debts and died in poverty.
      • Thomas Heyward, Jr. served in the army and was taken prisoner. The British raided his plantation while he was in prison and burned his buildings. His wife became ill and died before he was released.
      • Williams Hooper of North Carolina was hunted by the British. He fled, and they burned his home and lands.
      • Thomas Nelson, Jr. served as governor of Virginia and distributed large sums of his money to the families of his soldiers. At the Battle of Yorktown, he led 3,000 Virginia militia against the British. Although the British took refuge in homes belonging to Virginians, Nelson’s troops shelled them away. At the battle of Yorktown, he noted that the British General Cornwallis had taken over the Nelson home for his headquarters. He quietly urged General George Washington to open fire. The home was destroyed, and Nelson died bankrupt.

      Such were the stories and sacrifices of the American Revolution. These were not wild eyed, rabble-rousing ruffians. They were soft-spoken men of means and education. They had security, but they valued liberty more. “

      Would that we were blessed with such patriots and heroes as the first generation of Americans were…

      When you read of the sacrifices made and the effort given by our founding fathers, and then look at the scum-sucking, grifting, libtard, morally-empty, vacuous vermin occupying the Capitol, it is all but impossible to restrain one’s anger, frustration, and sorrow.

      Representative Ryan, Senator McConnell, and all the others: the blood of our heroes, the lives and livelihoods of our progeny, and the legacy of our once-great country lie at and with you. You WILL answer to GOD for either your wisdom, prudence, and patriotism; or your malfeasance, avarice, and duplicity.

      Choose wisely; choose well; and consider your place in history, or infamy… Your forebears did the RIGHT THING: are you WILLING and ABLE to do the SAME?????

      Liked by 2 people

      • fallingsnow says:

        Your message is very resourceful and really appreciated. Your last question is not only for me also for all US citizens that we should ask ourselves every night as we are awake.
        And I am sure I am willing to do the SAME.

        Like

  15. Prettyplease says:

    We have family who are buried in Bonaventure cemetery in Savannah. We used to go there all the time when I was a child to visit the family. We have a baby lamb statue, too, a cousin of mine. My parents are buried on the bluff overlooking the Wilmington River. It’s a beautiful, peaceful place. One time, when we were visiting the city, I took my kids to visit the family there. I was a little concerned about it because things had gotten a little rough in the area surrounding the cemetery and I was not sure if it would be safe to take my kids to what used to be an isolated spot by myself. I was so shocked and pleasantly surprised to find that someone had started doing tours of the cemetery and there were people all over the place. I bet the folks who live there are delighted with the company. Never forget!

    Like

  16. Jan Phillips says:

    Thank you, Menagerie, for the beautiful post and video! I loved the “Praise God” verse of “Amazing Grace.” I hadn’t heard it for a long time, but it was always sung at our old gatherings in the South. Precious memory!!!

    Like

  17. Frank says:

    I figured Menagerie & Sundance lived somewhere around here, but now I see it’s Ringgold. I’m just down the street from you in Atlanta. These bands of rain today are inconvenient, but I still hope you and yours have a good holiday anyway. Stay dry, and thanks to the CTH team for all the work you do.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. phoenixRising says:

    Liked by 1 person

  19. phoenixRising says:

    Like

  20. phoenixRising says:

    Liked by 1 person

  21. phoenixRising says:

    Liked by 1 person

  22. All American Snowflake says:

    Over the weekend I was looking out my bedroom window and noticed people staring at my front door. A little paranoid because of …. well you’ll get the idea…. I wondered why they were staring at my front door. I went down to see if something was wrong. I saw way Old Glory right there where I had planted it.

    In the town where I live I was probably the only person with an American flag on Memorial Day. I live in Washington State. Once I was reading a book with our flag on the front cover. My teacher told me to put it away. That I might offend somebody.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s