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5-30-06 Importance of Memorial Day to All Americans

Jack Hogan May 06- “…..Many high school seniors in the early forties entered the military directly from their graduation ceremony. I still have friends who served in W.W.II. I am thankful for my neighbor and friend Captain Bill Staggs who flew 56 missions in a P-51 Mustang over Germany and was awarded the Distinquished Flying Cross. I am thankful to a high school friend, Colonel Robert Downs, who flew many missions in a T-28 Trojan and other aircraft over Vietnam. I am thankful for the hardships of ground battle in Vietnam that my neighbor and friend Calvin Layne endured. He was awarded the Bronze Star. I also remember Vance Daniell who was on Dad's 1942-43 Bogart High School basketball team who paid the ultimate price in Europe for our freedom. I also have friends who fought in Korea, Desert Storm and Iraq. My heart goes out to them…..”

 

AVOC Editor’s Note: Vance Daniell was my second cousin and nephew of Josiah Daniell

AVOC

 

May 27, 2006

 

Importance of Memorial Day to all Americans

 

By Wendell Dawson, Editor, AVOC, Inc.

 

Memorial Day should be a day of remembrance, prayer and thanksgiving for the sacrifice of many who died for our freedom.

 

Freedom is not cheap.   It can’t be bought.  It does come with a huge price.  It can be lost.  

 

We need to reflect on just how our nation survived to now and how long it may survive.

 

 

Tombs of Unknown Soldiers

 

6-1-04 Veterans Are What Memorial Day Is Really About

5-26-03 Area Veterans Hold Impressive Memorial Service 2003

9-23-05 Josiah Daniell, Farm Boy & WW I Hero of Oconee County, Georgia

5-26-05 Memory Lane- The Old Watkinsville Park

5-18-04 Eatonton Has Unique Way of Recognizing Veterans

3-11-04 Veterans, Oconee County & Vinnie Williams

 

Some of my fondest memories of public service was participating in a number of Veterans Recognitions Ceremonies

 

John Giles was a WW II Prisoner of War

 

 

Union Church Cemetery in 1994

 

Some veterans in this July 4, 1993, Oconee Courthouse picture are now deceased:  Ed Rudowski (Wheelchair at left of picture), Major Rice, Charlie Pugh, Robert Brown, Jim Booth, Harold Marable,  Merle Gasaway, James McLain and others.  This picture was on display for years on the entrance hall wall of the courthouse.


5-29-06 Memorial Day thoughts and memories by Bogart Alumnus Jack Hogan

 

May 27, 2006

 

MEMORIAL DAY

Memories of Bogart Heroes

 

By Jack Hogan BOHS Class of 1954

 

Monday is Memorial Day, a time set aside to remember those who through the years have

worn our country’s uniforms, carried our country’s colors, went through battles and injuries. Some died, some imprisoned, and some came home carrying baggage no one will ever understand.

 

Many high school seniors in the early forties entered the military directly from their graduation ceremony. I still have friends who served in W.W.II. I am thankful for my neighbor and friend Captain Bill Staggs who flew 56 missions in a P-51 Mustang over Germany and was awarded the Distinquished Flying Cross. I am thankful to a high school friend, Colonel Robert Downs, who flew many missions in a T-28 Trojan and other aircraft over Vietnam. I am thankful for the hardships of ground battle in Vietnam that my neighbor and friend Calvin Layne endured. He was awarded the Bronze Star. I also remember Vance Daniell who was on Dad's 1942-43 Bogart High School basketball team who paid the ultimate price in Europe for our freedom. I also have friends who fought in Korea, Desert Storm and Iraq. My heart goes out to them.

 

Please take sometime to pray for those who are now serving our nation and for those who have been in harms way for each of us. Take time to encourage our nation's veterans. Take one to lunch or call them on the phone and show your appreciation for their contribution to the freedom we enjoy today.


 

Support our Troops

http://www.opditch.com/

 

May 27, 2006

 

The Importance of Memorial Day

 

BY Diana Irey

 

Monday, May 29th marks a very special holiday that we as Americans hold dear. Memorial Day provides Americans with the opportunity to remember those who have fought to protect this great land through centuries of struggle. This day serves as a chance to look back and remember those who have given the ultimate sacrifice in order to protect the freedom that we hold so dear, and that has made this country the greatest nation in the world.

 

During this weekend of remembrance, flowers will be placed on graves, dedications and tributes will take place. Members of the various military branches, firemen, policemen, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and others will march in parades and attend ceremonies to commemorate the day.

 

This year's Memorial Day holds special meaning as our troops are defending our freedoms again today. Remembering the sacrifices of our fellow Americans should strengthen our resolve to continue to answer our nation's call to duty.

 

As we remember those who have given their lives to protect us, I ask you to join with me in paying homage during the "The National Moment of Remembrance". At 3 PM on Memorial Day the world will pause, take a deep breath, and thank the men and women that have protected our country and its freedoms.

 

It is important that we honor these brave men and women not only on Memorial Day, but each and every day.

 

May God bless America.



Forwarded by: TroopsSupport.com

 

History of Memorial Day

http://www.usmemorialday.org/

 

 

Tombs of the Unknowns

 

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 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.

 

Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war). It is now celebrated in almost every State on the last Monday in May (passed by Congress with the National Holiday Act of 1971 (P.L. 90 - 363) to ensure a three day weekend for Federal holidays), though several southern states have an additional separate day for honoring the Confederate war dead: January 19 in Texas, April 26 in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi; May 10 in South Carolina; and June 3 (Jefferson Davis' birthday) in Louisiana and Tennessee.

 

In 1915, inspired by the poem "In Flanders Fields," Moina Michael replied with her own poem:

 

We cherish too, the Poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led,
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies.


She then conceived of an idea to wear red poppies on Memorial day in honor of those who died serving the nation during war. She was the first to wear one, and sold poppies to her friends and co-workers with the money going to benefit servicemen in need. Later a Madam Guerin from France was visiting the United States and learned of this new custom started by Ms.Michael and when she returned to France, made artificial red poppies to raise money for war orphaned children and widowed women. This tradition spread to other countries. In 1921, the Franco-American Children's League sold poppies nationally to benefit war orphans of France and Belgium. The League disbanded a year later and Madam Guerin approached the VFW for help. Shortly before Memorial Day in 1922 the VFW became the first veterans' organization to nationally sell poppies. Two years later their "Buddy" Poppy program was selling artificial poppies made by disabled veterans. In 1948 the US Post Office honored Ms Michael for her role in founding the National Poppy movement by issuing a red 3 cent postage stamp with her likeness on it.

 

Traditional observance of Memorial Day has diminished over the years. Many Americans nowadays have forgotten the meaning and traditions of Memorial Day. At many cemeteries, the graves of the fallen are increasingly ignored, neglected. Most people no longer remember the proper flag etiquette for the day. While there are towns and cities that still hold Memorial Day parades, many have not held a parade in decades. Some people think the day is for honoring any and all dead, and not just those fallen in service to our country.

 

There are a few notable exceptions. Since the late 50's on the Thursday before Memorial Day, the 1,200 soldiers of the 3d U.S. Infantry place small American flags at each of the more than 260,000 gravestones at Arlington National Cemetery. They then patrol 24 hours a day during the weekend to ensure that each flag remains standing. In 1951, the Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts of St. Louis began placing flags on the 150,000 graves at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery as an annual Good Turn, a practice that continues to this day. More recently, beginning in 1998, on the Saturday before the observed day for Memorial Day, the Boys Scouts and Girl Scouts place a candle at each of approximately 15,300 grave sites of soldiers buried at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park on Marye's Heights (the Luminaria Program). And in 2004, Washington D.C. held its first Memorial Day parade in over 60 years.

 

To help re-educate and remind Americans of the true meaning of Memorial Day, the "National Moment of Remembrance" resolution was passed on Dec 2000 which asks that at 3 p.m. local time, for all Americans "To voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a Moment of remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence or listening to 'Taps."

 

The Moment of Remembrance is a step in the right direction to returning the meaning back to the day. What is needed is a full return to the original day of observance. Set aside one day out of the year for the nation to get together to remember, reflect and honor those who have given their all in service to their country.

 

But what may be needed to return the solemn, and even sacred, spirit back to Memorial Day is for a return to its traditional day of observance. Many feel that when Congress made the day into a three-day weekend in with the National Holiday Act of 1971, it made it all the easier for people to be distracted from the spirit and meaning of the day. As the VFW stated in its 2002 Memorial Day address: "Changing the date merely to create three-day weekends has undermined the very meaning of the day. No doubt, this has contributed greatly to the general public's nonchalant observance of Memorial Day."


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