For many Americans today, Memorial Day represents the end of spring and the first vacation weekend of the summer. It's a time to travel, bond with neighbors over barbeque, and engage in other fun events. But the true history of Memorial Day pertains to honoring the armed forces soldiers who perished while defending the values and freedoms that we love in our country.
SundryShop.com’s offers a large collection of meaningful patriotic decorations to create a Memorial Day decorative display and to give Memorial Day remembrance gifts! Gifts with flag representations are particularly relevant. Remember too that the now ubiquitous Sana Claus participates year-round in celebrating various different holidays – he's recognized as an ultimate symbol of giving and caring.
Fllag theme home décor items are particularly relevant as Memorial Day gifts. Further explore the following collectible mouth-blown and handcrafted European glass ornaments links:
To honor the memory of the hundreds of thousands of Armed Forces American fallen heroes who sacrificed their lives to protect our country, freedoms, and values, SundryShop.com presents, “Remembrance: An Original Story about the True Meaning of Memorial Day.”
Please share our story with your friends and family and also to comment below and share with us about any Memorial Day traditions you participate in!
SundryShop’s Original Story: “Remembrance”
Incessant chatter drills through the walls of his cubicle as Thomas, a fit, clean-shaven twenty three year old with a precise crew cut, closes his workstation in order to begin the Memorial Day holiday.
“Oh Erin, you just have to come to the lake for our Memorial Day barbeque this Monday. We’ll have a ton of food and beer, so bring Richard too!” squawks Nancy, a bubbly lady in her late forties and occupant of the cubicle next to Thomas. “Come on Thomas, this is why they give us a three day holiday, to have fun! Oh, are you going to another Memorial Day event? Please tell me more!”
Just then, a four-year-old girl with long black hair comes roaring in to Thomas’s cubicle and springs into his lap. “ Are you ready?” she sequels with excitement. “Yes. Let’s go home, sweetheart!” Thomas says with joy in his eyes.
Monday arrives and Thomas finishes packing his SUV. “Do we have all of the Memorial Day flowers and decorations?” Thomas asks as he turns around to see two shining faces; Maria twenty-three and Lena four. Holding small American flags in each of her hands, Lena gives him a big thumbs-up and Maria blows him a kiss. “Okay, lets go then!” As they drive, Thomas notices the parks and outdoor restaurants full of people laughing, playing and generally enjoying their day off from work.
Finally, they arrive at the county cemetery. A few small flags solemnly stand lifelessly next to handful of graves. Without hesitation Thomas drives to a neatly trimmed plot located at the back of the cemetery. They exit the car with their Memorial Day flowers and decorations and make their way to a grave marked by a modest headstone that reads “CPL Roberto Manuel Rodriguez: January 13 1986 – March 10 2010.” Thomas considers how on this Memorial Day more than 250,00 grave decorating flags will honor the fallen soldiers buried at the Arlington National Cemetery.
Thomas tightly clenches a facsimile of General John A. Logan’s handwritten General Order Number 11 of the Grand Army of the Republic from 1868, General John A. Logan Created a Memorial Order, establishing the first Decoration Day. The first line peers out over the top of his large hand:
“The 30th day 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 church-yard in the land.”
As they begin decorating Roberto’s grave, Thomas reflects on the meaning of Decoration Day, and how it became Memorial Day as we know it today. Another line of General Logan’s Order echoes through his head:
“Let us, then, at the time appointed gather around their sacred remains, and garland the passionless mounds above them with the choicest flowers of Springtime: let us raise above them the dear old flag they saved from dishonor.”
Tears fall from Maria’s eyes as she places a beautiful floral memorial wreath against her late husband’s head stone while Lena plants a small American flag above her father’s grave. “Te amaré para siempre,” she whispers as she caringly touches the head stone.
Reflecting on the sacrifices made by many to protect their freedoms, they momentarily feel humbled with their purpose in visiting the grave. Thomas ponders, “How can we properly honor the struggles and sacrifices of the fallen heroes and their families?”
Then, glancing at his watch, which reads 2:59 p.m., he prepares for the National Moment of Remembrance. Established by President Bill Clinton in 2000 to honor those Americans who died while defending his nation and its values, the National Moment of Remembrance encourages Americans everywhere to pause for one minute at 3:00 p.m. (local time) to recognize and to silently commemorate the fallen heroes who died to give us the fortune to live in freedom.
As the 3 o’clock bell rings out over the cemetery, Thomas painfully grips the arms of his wheel chair and pushes himself to his feet with all his might. His body weight shifts uncomfortably as he balances on the titanium shaft that replaced his right leg. He uses his left hand to raise his right prosthetic hand to a salute. Choking back tears he silently prays to his friend, “I’m taking care of them now. Your wife Maria and little Lena are safe. Rest in peace my brother.”
The twenty-tree year old veteran stoically salutes at the grave of his closest comrade as he remembered when the explosion blew through their caravan. Thomas lost two of his limbs, while Roberto lost his life in that fateful instant.
Gone was his best friend and brother-in-arms. Gone were a little girl’s father and a loving wife’s husband. Reflecting on the unrecoverable loss of Robert that the three of them experienced, Thomas feels that too many Americans too often have forgotten the true meaning of Memorial Day, choosing instead to perceive the day as merely another three-day holiday and the first weekend of summer.
Thomas stands as a battered soldier, physically broken by war, but also as a man of great spirit and integrity who perseveres to salute his fallen brother as many brave warriors have done before him. He salutes not for himself or for what he has lost, but for the country that he loves and for his brothers that risk their lives to defend and preserve the freedoms and values for their families at home.
As he holds his salute, a sudden breeze embraces the Memorial Day flags, giving them renewed life as they wave freely and proudly, honoring the fallen soldiers.
Remember the brave men and women who have fallen in action by creating a display with collectible patriotic home decorations. Many of these collectibles promise to be handed down through the generations, establishing continuity of this important tradition of honoring our service men who have given their lives for their country, and can also be displayed during other patriotic holiday events, such as the Fourth of July and Presidents Day!
We hope that you enjoyed our story. Please share it with your friends and family for their enjoyment. If you have any Memorial Day traditions such as decorating veterans’ graves, creating memorial displays, or joining with friends and family in special ways, we would like to hear about them; post and share your stories in the comments section below!
We at SundryShop.com wish you a wonderful Memorial Day weekend!
(Story written by Nicholas who works at SundryShop.com & edited by the Sundryshop.com team. Copyright 2012 by SundryShop.com. All rights reserved.)