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Memorial Day

Happy Memorial Day!

When I was growing up, Memorial Day was the official “kick-off” to summer. It was a day spent celebrating with friends and family. Today the holiday is acknowledged with parades, road races, BBQs and even shopping! Regardless of your plans, let’s pause to honor the thousands of servicemen and women who died defending our nation’s freedom. They had families and loved ones like us. Many made the ultimate sacrifice to defend those in harm’s way. My father served in the Marine Core during the Korean Conflict and my son served with the Army in Afghanistan. I’m so grateful they both made it home unharmed after serving tours of duty in significant combat zones.

Memorial Day used to be known as Decoration Day. After the Civil War and from earlier traditions, graves were decorated with flowers, wreaths, and flags. Did you know that red poppies are recognized as a symbol of remembrance? It’s a tradition to wear them to honor those who died in war. A poem written by World War I soldier and poet John McCrae called “In Flanders Fields”, describes red poppies growing over the graves of soldiers. In the year 2000, Congress established a National Moment of Remembrance, asking Americans to pause for one minute at 3 pm in an act of national unity. The time was chosen because 3 pm “is the time when most Americans are enjoying their freedoms on the national holiday.” So, as you go about your day, take time to thank God for your freedom and ask for His continued favor on our country, and thank a soldier in your life.

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