saluteOne of the many pleasures of writing is researching what I write. Now, I don’t write the sort of historical fiction that requires me to master the intricacies of Victorian etiquette, but I do often look up odds and ends to make sure I have them right.

  • When did Buffalo Bill tour the U.S.?
  • Can a ruptured appendix cause infertility?
  • What happens when a gun misfires?
  • What TV shows aired in 1954?

So today, I’m offering up a wee bit of research about Memorial Day in gratitude to those who have died in service to the freedom that ensures I can do things like share my faith openly through my writing.

Memorial Day is set aside for remembering those who have died in the service of our nation. Originally, it was proclaimed in honor of the Civil War dead by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic. The order became official on May 5, 1868, and was first observed on May 30 of that year (we’re approaching the 150th anniversary!).

Memorial Day has also been called Decoration Day because it was the tradition to decorate the graves of those who died in the war. The day was moved to the last Monday in May in 1971 to ensure a three-day weekend.

In 2000 a resolution was passed to try and help remind Americans of the true meaning of the day. Signed by Pres. Bill Clinton it include a bullet “Encouraging individual department and agency personnel, and Americans everywhere, to pause for one minute at 3:00 p.m. (local time) on Memorial Day, to remember and reflect on the sacrifices made by so many to provide freedom for all.”

So I encourage you at 3 p.m. this afternoon, to stop whatever you’re doing and say a prayer of thanks for those who have died to protect us and for those who are, even now, willing to do so. One minute seems little enough . . .