Friday, May 25, 2012

Decoration Day to Memorial Day

Decoration Day was a Federal holiday created in 1868 by former Civil War Commander and Chief John A Logan. Logan issued General Order Number 11, designating May 30 as a day of Memorial to honor those who died in defense of their country.
The first celebration was held at Arlington National Cemetery. There's some controversy as to when Decoration Day became Memorial Day. In 1882, the name was changed to Memorial Day to honor all soldiers who died in service to the United States, but most people still called it Decoration Day until sometime after World War II.
Lyndon B. Johnson declared the official holiday to be Nationally observed annually the last Monday of May in 1966. The nation was divided then too. North wasn't fighting South, but there was much controversy and protest surrounding the Vietnam War. 

Today, the national observance of Memorial Day still takes place at Arlington National Cemetary. A wreath is placed on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and every grave in the cemetery is decorated with a small American flag.
Memorial Day is not just a day to honor those who fell in battle but all soldiers of all wars who are no longer with us. Some came home heroes. Some were never recognized as such. But they all fought for their country and made sacrifices. 
The brave men & women who served in Iraq & Afghanistan 
Memorial Day is a day to remember former service personnel from all branches of the military who served in any war and are no longer with us. Whether they died in battle or peacefully in their sleep, they each made sacrifices for their country.
Members of the Coast Guard who served
at the US Lifesaving Station on
Portsmouth Island at the turn of the 20th Century
Not all who served were Americans.
My father-in-law in Athens, Greece during the Korean War.
So this Memorial Day,don't forget to remember a deceased soldier,sailor, airman (or woman) or marine.
The USS Coral Reef 1952-1954: The Korean War

My Granduncle Vincent who served in WWII

Thank you to those who served and are no longer with us. You will never be forgotten.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

What a fabulous Mother's Day weekend. My husband and I spent the weekend at the beach and found this really cool restaurant in Jacksonville, NC that reminded me of Jacksonville, Florida. There was even a parrot. It was an awesome, all about me weekend. But I wasn't completely selfish. I spent Friday with my folks and had a great time.

I took my parents lunch on Friday, complete with a dozen Subway cookies and a collapsible garden rake for my mom. She loves working in her flowers but Dad frequently misplaces her rake. The one I got her folds down so she can hide it from him. Then mom and I spent the afternoon going through some old family photos.

Going through those pictures with my mom meant so much. I brought most of them home with me so I can scan them and burn them to discs. Some are so frayed and faded, it's hard to see the faces clearly. In that old box of photographs that once belonged to my grandmother, there was even pictures of my great, great, grandparents.  I haven't scanned those yet, but when I do, I'll post a blog dedicated to ancestors.

In the ones I've gone through so far, the most heart wrenching is a picture of my grandfather sitting on the front porch holding his three month old daughter. My dad and his brother are standing on either side of him, looking somewhat confused. My grandfather looks sad and weary. With good reason. His baby girl was dead and had been for several hours.

The child died in her crib while my grandmother was visiting her parents in Virginia. It was sometime around 1940. There were no laws  regulating the transport of bodies and so my great uncle drove my grandmother home with her dead child. The baby had never been photographed. And so, my grandfather posed with his daughter's cold, blue body so his wife would have pictures of her only daughter.

It brings tears to my eyes just thinking about the courage that must have taken. On her part for bringing her child home to her daddy and on his part for holding his dead daughter so his wife could have that all precious photograph.

My grandparents are both gone now,. They're once again united with that little girl they knew such a brief time. But I'm sure my dad thinks of his mom on this day and remembers all the things she did for him and the sacrifices she made.

I'm blessed to still have my parents with me and would like to take this moment to wish my mother a very happy Mother's Day. Love you, Mom.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Yesterday, my publisher turned six. Happy birthday to the most author friendly publisher on the planet! Thanks to TWRP I now have 3 books available in both ebook and print format through the publisher's website and Amazon and in ebook format through TWRP, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Fictionwise, Borders, Books-A-Million, etc.

So, happy birthday, RJ, Rhonda, Lisa, Lil, Alison, and the rest of the TWRP owners, editors, and staff. You ladies rock!