RIP, and know you are remembered
By the Advocate Editorial Board
May 28, 2010 at 12:28 a.m.
Updated May 30, 2010 at 12:30 a.m.
Memorial Day's origins go back to the War Between the States when some 620,000 Americans died - more than any other war - and honoring soldiers for their ultimate sacrifice started during the end of May for both the Union and the South.
Then in 1882, the day became known as Memorial Day, and all American soldiers who died in all battles were honored.
President Nixon declared Memorial Day a national holiday in 1971 to be celebrated the last Monday in May.
And, alas, we continue to fight wars and lose our brave and meritorious soldiers. We can never imagine to the fullest degree the horrors of war unless we've been there ourselves.
But we know our soldiers have taken an oath to defend and fight for our country, and they bravely go with the knowledge that they might not return.
And we know that many of our fighting soldiers return from war, wanting to go on with their lives, leaving war behind. Despite that, they especially will always remember their fallen fellow soldiers.
Those who do not return - those who made the ultimate sacrifice - should be remembered for their dauntless deeds and their giving gift for our freedom and way of life.
So while we celebrate this holiday, we should observe a moment of silence for those who gave their lives for us.
The National Moment of Remembrance is scheduled for 3 p.m. today. Take this time to reflect on our freedom and connect as Americans. Part of that connection is with those who have passed on.
They are at peace, now, and in the hands of God. But we should never forget the price they paid.
A song developed by a Union officer during the Civil War says it all - taps:
Day is done/gone the sun/from the lakes/from the hills/from the sky/all is well/safely/rest/God is near.
This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.