Monday, May 26, 2008

For the Love of Freedom

Today we remember those who defend our freedom with the ultimate sacrifice.

Naval men of the USS INTREPID are buried at sea, after being hit by Japanese bombs in the Philippines during World War II in 1944. Photo Credit: National Archives

Memorial Day originally celebrated as Decoration Day where the graves of those who fought in the Civil War were decorated with flowers in honor of their service.
The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet churchyard in the land. In this observance no form of ceremony is prescribed, but posts and comrades will in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit.
General John A. Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic
It wasn't until 1971 that Congress finally declared an official Memorial Day holiday to remember all of those who fought and died in American wars.

Decorating a soldier's grave in one of the black-segregated sections of Arlington National Cemetery, in Virginia. Photo Credit: National Archives

In World War II alone there were over 290,000 military members killed in battle. with another 114,000 dead by other means during the war. It's hard to imagine such a number in today's impatient world.

Friends and relatives mourn at the grave of a deceased soldier near
Jackson, Ky., in 1940. Photo Credit: National Archives

I thank God for ever single soldier, airman, sailor, and marine who gave their life to secure my freedom and the freedom of millions of people around the world. Their lives were not given in vain.


the teach said...

Very nice post for Memorial Day! :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you. Those are beautiful images.