Way back in the old days, in my previous career as a financial consultant, I used to send out a quarterly newsletter to my clients. It was called “The Early Report”.
I would give updates on the economy and what was going on in the stock market. Report on any special seminars or meetings that were coming up. And give out general information that had to do with our company or the services we provided.
I would also always write about something other than financial news that I thought was important or that would be of interest. I was looking through some of my old newsletters the other day and came across one that I thought was important to mention again. It was from the June 2008 “Early Report” and the following is what I wrote:
Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation’s service. It was officially proclaimed on May 5, 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 May 30, 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.
After just having gone through this past Memorial Day and enjoying the good weather, good barbecues and hanging out with friends and family, I started to think about how fortunate we are in this country to be able to enjoy a lot of what we have because of the sacrifices of so many.
We want to thank those who have served in the military, past, present, and future. We are especially grateful for those who have given the ultimate sacrifice. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the men and women who protect this great country and who continue to serve with honor.
It is now Sunday afternoon, (May 18th, 2014, a week before Memorial weekend), and I happen to be sitting on the deck in my backyard. After having a nice barbecue lunch with my wife Janet and a friend, I am now just enjoying the sounds that the birds are making and listening to the rustling of the trees in the wind,(and what seems to be the barking of a small dog a couple of houses away).
How peaceful this is. How relaxing. How free. How thankful I am to be able to live in this country. How thankful I am for my father and father-in-law who both served during WWII. How thankful I am for my brother Paul and sister Anne who both served in the military. For my brother-in-law who served and was wounded in Vietnam. For my two nephews, Thomas and William, who are both serving now. And for the millions of other men and women, past and present, who have served in the military in order to protect the freedoms that have been afforded to me. To all of us.
I thank God for giving them the courage and the fortitude to step up to this brave calling. And I will be praying this coming Memorial Day for all of them. A prayer of thanks, of gratitude, of protection. I pray that we will all keep them in our thoughts and prayers and remember them, not only on this one special day, but every day.
For all of those who have served, who are serving, and who will be serving, I say thank you and may God bless you all.
The Shoe Shine Guy