Friday, May 25, 2007

Decoration Day...Memorial Day

This weekend we remember and honor the brave men and women who served our country. We decorate the graves of our fallen heroes and proudly display our flag on our homes and along our highways.
In Columbus, Georgia on April 26, 1866 a group of women asked my Great-great- uncle, Col. James N. Ramsey, to speak after they decorated the graves of the soldiers who were buried there. On May 5, 1868 General Order No.11, the order to observe Decoration Day, was signed.
While we remember those who fell in war and in peace, I also remember and thank those men and women who are actively serving in the military of our country. My family has a long, proud and honorable history of military service. Pictured are my Great-great grandfather, Thomas W. Ramsey; my father and uncle, William T. and Nolan Ramsey; my brother, Phillip Victor Ramsey; my husband, Dean E. Thornton; and my daughter, Victoria French. The last picture is the raising of the flag at my husbands retirement ceremony.
It is a tradition to play TAPS at a military funeral, during flag ceremonies, as well as when day is done. One story surrounding the creation of TAPS is during the Civil War a Union officer heard a soldier moaning in the field. He did not know if the soldier was Union or Confederate but he went to get him anyway. When he finally got the wounded soldier back to camp he found that not only had the young man died but the young man was his son. His son had wanted to be a musician and had enlisted in the Confederate Army. The Union officer asked his commander if he could hold a military funeral for his son. He was told that he could but that he could only have one musician to play at it...the man chose a bugler and asked him to play the notes he had found on a scrap of paper in his sons pocket. Those few notes are the ones played to these words:

Day is done,
Gone the sun,
from the lakes,
from the hills,
from the sky,
all is well,
safely rest,
God is nigh.

Fading light,
dims the night,
and a star gems the sky,
gleaming bright,
from afar,
drawing near,
falls the night.

Thanks and praise,
for our days,
neath the sun,
neath the stars,
neath the sky,
as we go
this we know
God is nigh.

May we never forget or take for granted the sacrifices made by these brave men and women. May we always honor, remember and respect them for their courage and devotion. We have them and those that went before them to thank for our continued freedom and liberties that we all enjoy.

My wish for you: that you may always live in the land of the free and the home of the brave.


Oblique Angles said...

This is a lovely post, honoring both your family and the military. Thank you for telling the poignant story of Taps, and providing the words, too. As an American citizen, I am forever grateful to the military -- past and present -- for preserving our precious freedoms.

OldBagNewTricks said...

I am extending my thanks to you and your family members for having served so protect us. And thanks for the story about TAPS -- I've never heard that.


Francie M. said...

My heartfelt thank you to both of you. There are many people today who do not honor or hold sacred any of the sacrifices made by our men, women and their families.
Jenny, I salute you also and extend my thanks and gratitude to you because I know you also did your part.

Rhoda said...

Hi, Francine, just checking in with you this week. I saw that new pillow you got...just beautiful! Have a great Memorial Day!

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