Memorial Day, Decoration Day


Divorce, selfishness ,and carelessness led a 34 year old, (attempting to write a blog post on memorial day) to realize she had never known her father's birthday. My daddy's birthday is in 5 days and this will be his first that he is not here to celebrate it with his family.

It is the eve of Memorial Day in America. History tells us that Memorial day was actually started to honor the fallen soldiers of the Civil War and was originally Named Decoration Day. We now celebrate Memorial Day honoring the all the nation's war dead.

As you can tell my father was not the age of someone currently fighting for our country, but he deserves a place of honor amongst "war dead."  Vietnam is where agent orange decided his life would end prematurely. Cancer wracked his body and he passed away before this past Christmas.



I read an article in New York Times titled: Forgetting Why We Remember.

David Blight makes a case that one of the earliest ceremonies was done at the close of the war for Union soldiers in Charleston, South Carolina.  No less than 3000 black school children and as many or more black adults were the first Decoration Day's participants. The Union soldiers  they were honoring, had died in a prison and been disrespectfully buried. The black citizens  gave them a proper burial and ceremony with the children decorating the grave with flowers. It made news, but was short lived, and then forgotten. We have all sorts of local newspapers in the following years declaring rights to claim Memorial Day was first thought up by a sweet misses or mister of such and such a town.

Forgetting why we remember is a shameful habit of this fallen race. We forget quickly why we should forgive others. We forget why we need forgiveness as time separates us from our infractions against God and others.

Why do we celebrate birthdays? It is to declare you are happy someone entered the world on that specific day and are a part of your life. We should celebrate those that have nurtured us, supported, and encouraged us regardless of the day. I failed my own imperative.

Daddy I remember you. I remember you each time I look at my husband because he makes me laugh like you did. You were the most exciting man I knew as a little girl. Your time in Vietnam ended well before I entered this world, but I am thankful I had a birthday. You remembered mine  even though I did not live in the same house with you. I  remember playing with my Barbie pool party, you gave me in Kindergarten and receiving your phone call that day.

You gave so much for your country and family. Along the road of selfishness, and lethargy, I forgot why I should remember........

I should remember because you are my father and deserve honor.