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Memorial Day Sunday


Memorial Day Sunday

Today is the middle of Memorial Day Weekend. Many of us look to it as the opening of summer, even thought that officially starts weeks away. Many others of us think of tourists and all the inconveniences they bring to our towns, roads and beaches.

How many of us think about the true reason for the special weekend and day? If you have been at this Unity for a few years, you know that this holiday has a deep history, beginning back during Our Civil War.

Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971.

The Civil War, which ended in the spring of 1865, claimed more lives than any conflict in U.S. history and required the establishment of the country’s first national cemeteries.

By the late 1860s, Americans in various towns and cities had begun holding springtime tributes to those countless fallen soldiers, decorating their graves with flowers and reciting prayers.

Did you know? Each year on Memorial Day a national moment of remembrance takes place at 3:00 p.m. local time.
It is unclear where exactly this tradition originated; numerous different communities may have independently initiated the memorial gatherings. Nevertheless, in 1966 the federal government declared Waterloo, New York, the official birthplace of Memorial Day.

Waterloo—which first celebrated the day on May 5, 1866—was chosen because it hosted an annual, community-wide event, during which businesses closed and residents decorated the graves of soldiers with flowers and flags.
On May 5, 1868, General John A. Logan, leader of an organization for Northern Civil War veterans, called for a nationwide day of remembrance later that month. “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,” he proclaimed.

The date of Decoration Day, as he called it, was chosen because it wasn’t the anniversary of any particular battle.
On the first Decoration Day, General James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery, and 5,000 participants decorated the graves of the 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers buried there.

Many Northern states held similar commemorative events and reprised the tradition in subsequent years; by 1890 each one had made Decoration Day an official state holiday. Southern states, on the other hand, continued to honor their dead on separate days until after World War I.

For decades, Memorial Day continued to be observed on May 30, the date Logan had selected for the first Decoration Day. But in 1968 Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which established Memorial Day as the last Monday in May in order to create a three-day weekend for federal employees; the change went into effect in 1971. The same law also declared Memorial Day a federal holiday.

I’m not sure if there are any Gold Star Families….those who have lost a family member through service to our Country.

Memorial Day is all about honoring those who lost their lives through Service.
Veterans Day, Nov. 11th, is for honoring all who Serve.

In Unity, it is a time to pause and remember those men and women who paid the ultimate price while serving our great nation. But we do not want to romanticize war.
We are not against war but for peace. It is always better to be FOR something instead of against something. This is what we teach…

To honor Memorial Day,

James Dillet Freeman’s ‘The Traveler’

He has put on invisibility.
Dear Lord, I cannot see—
But this I know, although the road ascends
And passes from my sight,
That there will be no night;
That You will take him gently by the hand
And lead him on
Along the road of life that never ends,
And he will find it is not death but dawn.
I do not doubt that You are there as here,
And You will hold him dear.
Our life did not begin with birth,
It is not of the earth;
And this that we call death, it is no more
Than the opening and closing of a door—
And in Your house how many rooms must be
Beyond this one where we rest momently.

Dear Lord, I thank You for the faith that frees,
The love that knows it cannot lose its own;
The love that, looking through the shadows, sees
That You and he and I are ever one!

I mentioned another part of this weekend that is celebrated throughout the USA. And that is the unofficial start of summer. Though I must say, if you have been paying attention to the amount of traffic on our roads already, summer started weeks if not months ago!

So, my question to you is, ‘what are you going to do to take care of YOU this summer?’

I had a wonderful Sunday last week. I got to actually do some things that I truly wanted to do, even though they were physical to a degree, but working in my yard is something I do not get to do often, and something I can no longer do a lot of. So, I did do some gardening. And I did sit on my deck and read and relax and just listen to the birds.

Your summer is right around the corner, what is your intention for it?

I had a friend suggest, when I asked her for some idea of how to bring my idea to action, that I have you write down 3 things that you wish to release or surrender for the summer and maybe three things that you want to bring into your life over the summer.

They might be something you wish to do with family or friends that maybe you haven’t done before or for a long time. It might be something that you wish to learn, like a new language. It might be making a dent in that stack of books sitting there waiting to be the next one you pull out to read. It might be kayaking or hiking or traveling to a special place.

Whatever you choose to do, do it with love for yourself. Taking care of ourselves is so very important.

Parker Palmer said, “Self-care is never a selfish act- it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer others. Anytime we can listen to true self and give the care it requires, we do it not only for ourselves, but for the many others whose lives we touch.”

Whatever you do, consider surrendering something also. Again, maybe it something that you have been attempting to release but its sticking like glue or maybe keeps returning. We ALL have something that we are holding onto for whatever reason…and it could be we aren’t even aware we have something that we are using as a crutch, a reason for unforgiveness, a memory that continues to hurt.

It’s a good time to let it go.

You will be receiving your letter to God soon, I’m just waiting for more stamps! And maybe that letter will help you put some intention into your summer.

I hope part of your intention is to have FUN!


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