What does that number mean? Since 1775, roughly 15 American soldiers a day have paid the ultimate sacrifice so that every American citizen for the last 237 years could enjoy one amazing word: FREEDOM. That number jumps to roughly 28 a day, if you count the dead and wounded. (United States military casualties of war)
On May 5, 1868, General John A. Logan (Civil War Veteran) declared in General Order No. 11 that: “The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet churchyard in the land. In this observance no form of ceremony is prescribed, but posts and comrades will in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit.”
There are many origins to Memorial Day. Whether it started in the North, the South, or somewhere in between, this day has developed in to a national day of remembrance to honor those that lost their lives serving their beloved country. I personally never served in the armed forces, yet I have grown to love and respect those that have served and are serving. Whenever I see Old Glory waving in the wind, I’m reminded of the blood shed so that I could be free. My encouragement to you is to not look at the flag and forget what it represents. The blood-red stripes representing those who lost their lives for freedom’s sake. In so doing, they’ve managed to maintain the purity of the white stripes of peace and freedom for the hundreds of millions of Americans represented in each of the 50 stars in the sea of blue. Old Glory is more than just the flag that represents our country. It’s an enduring legacy to the soldiers who put their lives on the line so that we could be free.
I am, and will always be thankful to those that have served, are serving, and will serve the country that I love. I will forever be thankful to those that paid the ultimate sacrifice so that I could be free. To the 1,343,812…THANK YOU!