This year, as the harvest draws near its close and the year approaches its end, awesome perils again remain to be faced. Yet we have, as in the past, ample reason to be thankful for the abundance of our blessings.
We are grateful for the blessings of faith and health and strength and for the imperishable spiritual gifts of love and hope. We give thanks, too, for our freedom as a nation; for the strength of our arms and the faith of our friends; for the beliefs and confidence we share; for our determination to stand firmly for what we believe to be right and to resist mightily what we believe to be base; and for the heritage of liberty bequeathed by our ancestors which we are privileged to preserve for our children and our children’s children. John F. Kennedy, 1961
“The cost of freedom is always high, but Americans have always paid it. And one path we shall never choose, and that is the path of surrender, or submission.”
-John F. Kennedy
Video: Billy Ray Cyrus – Some Gave All
Memorial Day’s history began with the Civil War
Originally called Decoration Day, the Memorial Day holiday officially recognizes all who died as members of the U.S. armed forces.
It’s not to be confused with Veterans Day, which celebrates all who have served or are serving, living or dead.
Memorial Day had its beginnings at the end of the Civil War, when the North and South went about commemorating the dead who fell in what remains the bloodiest war in American history.
An estimated 620,000 soldiers died. That’s more than 200,000 more who died in World War II.
And another 1.1 million were wounded between 1861 and 1865. Those are staggering figures for a nation that, at the outbreak of the Civil War, numbered 31 million.
To put that in perspective, if you adjust those figures to the population in the U.S. today (315 million), it would translate into well more than 6 million dead and 11 million wounded.
One of the survivors of the Civil War was Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., who, as a Union officer, was thrice wounded at the Battle of Ball’s Bluff, Antietam,and Chancellorsville, respectively. Holmes later became a member of the U.S. Supreme Court.
Holmes gave a Memorial Day speech on May 30, 1884, in Keene, N.H., where he concluded by saying:
“Our dead brothers still live for us, and bid us think of life, not death — of life to which in their youth they lent the passion and joy of the spring. As I listen, the great chorus of life and joy begins again, and amid the awful orchestra of seen and unseen powers and destinies of good and evil our trumpets sound once more a note of daring, hope, and will.”
At that time the Feast of the Dedication took place at Jerusalem; it was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple in the portico of Solomon.
The Feast of Dedication: This feast (Hanukkah) was instituted by Judas Maccabeus, in commemoration of the cleansing and re-dedication of the temple after three years of desecration by Antiochus Epiphanes, king of Syria.
The last time that Christmas and Hanukkah overlapped was in 1978, and next time it will happen will be in 2027.
Nice ad. It was shown during the World Series Game 7.
America, let’s come together and take a moment to reflect on what we’re truly thankful for this holiday season. Friends, family and the chance to spend time with the ones we love. Walmart would like to give thanks to all of our Veterans and Active Duty Service Members at home and oversees this holiday season.
The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God. Luke 1:35
From our family to yours, we wish a Merry Christmas!