Reposted from Classic and Cozy Books Blog, Tuesday, May 26, 2015
Traditionally, graves of Union soldiers were decorated with flowers. The Confederate soldiers were commemorated similarly, but on a separate day. By the 20th Century, the competing days merged into the one we now know, the last Monday of May, the beginning of summer.Every year, we commemorate the sacrifices of our military heroes on two days, separated by six months. Memorial Day is the most American of the two as it was initiated in 1868 as Decoration Day, following the end of the War Between the States (also known as the Second War of Independence), the American Civil War.
Veterans Day (originally known as Armistice Day and Remembrance Day in other countries in Europe) commemorates the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month when the guns went silent at the end of World War I. This holiday evolved from this WWI connection to honor the service of all veterans of the U.S. Armed forces. Memorial Day honors the military personnel who died while serving our country.
Along with many of my fellow Americans, I visited the graves of members of my family who served in the U.S. Army during World Wars I and II, and the Vietnam War. To my knowledge, no one in my family died in combat, despite a long history of service in the Armed Forces.This year, unlike so many in the recent past, the United States is not engaged in any major conflict on foreign soil, a reason to think of this year’s holiday as one to be set apart.
Since the 1950s, the Golden Gate National Cemetery has been the resting place of uncles, aunts, my parents and siblings. My father and uncle, both U.S. Army officers, are buried with their wives. My sister-in-law passed away a year before my brother and they were interred together in my parent’s grave.
These vast rows of white tombstones and flags are, at once, a majestic and a sorrowful sight.
This post is in Memory of
- Moses F Verrill, Infantryman, US Army, 20th Maine, War Between the States
- Hiram W Verrill, PFC, US Army, WWI
- Thomas A Verrill, Sr. Captain, US Army, WWII
- Charles A. Adams, Sargent, US Army, WWII
- Owen K Nichols, US Navy, Korean War
- Thomas A Verrill, Jr. 1st Lt, US Army, Vietnam War
And in Honor of
- Maxine M Dillahunty nee Verrill, 1st Lt, US Army, Korean War,
- William D. Dillahunty, Airman 2nd Cl, US Air Force, Korean War
And with especial thanks to every one of the veterans and serving personnel who volunteer and are prepared to give their lives to protect and preserve our liberty.