Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address: A Fitting Foundation for Memorial Day | 5/27/2019 | Dennis Jamison
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As Americans throughout the United States celebrate Memorial Day today, it may seem that the “memorial” part has been drained out of the day to remember America’s fallen heroes. If citizens honestly reflect on this current three-day holiday, it may have more to do with relaxing at backyard barbecues, or taking in ball games. It may center around gatherings of family and friends, or spending precious time together with those who matter most. In one sense it is a celebration of life. Yet especially, since September 11, 2001, Memorial Day has taken on a new significance.

In 2019, however, Memorial Day may be celebrated by a majority without much real concern over its primary purpose: to honor the lives of the fallen soldiers who died in service to their country. And through the years, Memorial Day may not have been the most pleasant of holidays due to that purpose. The holiday was originally referred to as Decoration Day because it was a means to mourn the dead. Yet, the topic of death itself is an issue many people prefer not to discuss - a taboo topic—especially when it strikes close to home. Certainly, to those for whom it matters, it is hard to forget. It is hard to deal with, period.

Decoration - Day - Death - Destruction - American

Decoration Day was born from the death and destruction in the American Civil War. Tragically, the Civil War was responsible for the deaths of over 620,000 men and boys. It was the most devastating war in U.S. history on several levels. Decoration Day was created after the war by the Veterans’ Association as a means of healing the devastating emotional wounds opened by such an overwhelming loss of life. Today, as then, tragedy evokes deep emotional pain. The Veterans’ Association took responsibility to provide a practical means for families and survivors...
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