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Between cookouts, picnics, vacations and sales, Memorial Day may
be losing its meaning! Begun in 1866 to honor the soldiers of
The Civil War, Memorial Day was later extended to honor the brave
men and women who served this country in all wars. Please take a
moment this Memorial Day to honor those brave men and women.

We give thanks on Memorial Day that we live in a free nation and honor those who gave their lives for that blessing. Memorial Day is also called Decoration Day. Since World War I, it has also been called Poppy Day. Volunteers sell small, red artificial flowers as a find-raiser for disabled veterans.

The location of the first observance of Memorial Day is in dispute. Some claim the custom of honoring war dead began in Boalsburg, Pennsylvania. Others claim the custom was originated by some Southern women who placed flowers on the graves of both Union and Confederate soldiers after the Civil War. According to one writer, the first Memorial Day service took place on May 30, 1866, on Belle Isle, a burial ground for Union soldiers in the St. James River, at Richmond, Virginia. The school superintendent and the mayor planned the program of hymns and speeches and had the burial ground decorated with flowers. In 1966, however, the U.S. government proclaimed that Waterloo, New York, was the birthplace of Memorial Day. On May 5, 1865, the people of Waterloo had honored soldiers who had died in the Civil War.

In 1868, General John A. Logan, commander-in-chief of the Grand Army of the Republic (an organization of Union veterans of the Civil War), named May 30th as a special day to honor the graves of Union soldiers. The selection of May 30th is attributed to a Virginian of French descent, Cassandra Oliver Moncure, who may have selected this date because it was "The Day of Ashes" in France the day that Napoleon's remains were returned to France from St. Helena. 

The custom of placing flowers on graves is an old one that exists in many countries. Today, almost everywhere around the globe, people have a special day to honor not only those who gave their lives in battle, but also family members and friends whom they wish to remember.

The Northern states and some Southern states celebrate Memorial Day on the last Monday in May. This date was made a federal holiday in 1971. Some Southern states have Memorial Day celebrations to honor Confederate soldiers who died in the Civil War. Mississippi and Alabama celebrate Confederate Memorial Day on the last Monday in April. In Florida and Georgia, the date is April 26. May 10 is Memorial Day in North and South Carolina, and the holiday is June 3 in Kentucky, Louisiana, and Tennessee. Texas observes Confederate Heroes Day on January 19 (Robert E. Lee's birthday).


"These heroes are dead. They died for liberty-they died for us. They are at rest. They sleep in the land they made free, under the flag they rendered stainless, under the solemn pines, the sad hemlocks, the tearful willows, the embracing vines. They sleep beneath the shadow of the clouds, careless alike of sunshine or storm, each in the windowless palace of rest. Earth may run red with other wars-they are at peace. In the midst of the battles, in the roar of conflicts, they found the serenity of death."






The Battle of the Bulge 1944-45

12/16/44--12/17/44 History shows "The Battle of the Bulge" started at 0530 on the morning of December 16, 1944. Because we were high atop the Schnee Eifel and out of the mainstream of the German Offensive, we were probably the last to know that it had been launched. I cannot remember any evidence or any sounds that would have indicated to us the size of the battle that was to take place. A battle that was to become one of the largest battles in the history of World War II. The 40 days that battle raged were the coldest and snowiest weather remembered in the Ardennes Forest area. More than one million men, 600,000 Americans and 500,000 Germans and 55,000 Englishmen fought in this battle. 32 American, 3 British and 29 German Divisions were in the battle before it ended.

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War Memories (1941)  
by J.E.Miles

Silently waiting for their Captains command,
these brave fighting soldiers of second brigand.
There goes the order, they repeat the shout,
"Over the top men, everyone out!"
Into the thick of it, a cry of dismay,
for many are wounded in this bloody fray.
Battle after battle, takes place all around,
then suddenly it is silent we don't hear a sound.
The battle is over, the victory is complete,
and the remainder of the enemy surrender in defeat.
But what of the dead comrades who died so in vain,
and the wounded soldiers suffering in pain.
The burial squad set forth upon its given task,
such a price to pay for victory, "Is it right,"
we ask? No music nor glory accompanies this chore,
In search of fallen buddies, victims of war.

Take this hand on the day when our soldiers took their
stand, leaving behind them their life, their love; A voice inside said "this is my wish that you defend my shores till peace returns." So, take this hand, it is broken, crippled for you, your life to protect, Every time that you look, a Memorial you'll see, for unto to you, I gave my all. Let each person give thought to where I've been, leaving behind them criticism and condemnation, for where I've been, it brought tears and fear yet, inside I knew, that peace would return. So, take this hand, it has been shattered, broken for you, your life to protect, Every time that you see me, a Memorial you'll see, for unto to you, I gave my all. To each and every person that gave of themselves during time of conflict, I dedicate this to you, for you truly have given your all, for each of us.


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Donna's Patriotic Quilt Squares

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The Pledge of Allegiance A Short History
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Memorial Day At The Holiday Hotel

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Vietnam War Links    World War II Links    Veteran Links

Medal of Honor Museum
Recipients from the Civil War
through the Persian Gulf War.

The Navy Museum
Learn U.S. Navy history from the Revolution to the present through exhibits, programs, and events.

Pearl Harbor - Remembered    Information about the Pearl Harbor visitors center and the Arizona Memorial. Plus history and battle maps of the attack. Personal accounts of survivors are given.

Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Provides personal and service details and places of commemoration for the 1.7 million members of the Commonwealth forces who died in the First and Second World Wars.

US Naval & Shipbuilding Museum Online

Philadelphia Vietnam Veterans Memorial

National Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall

Searchable Wall Database

Detailed information for names on The Wall (Vietnam Veterans Memorial)

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