Memorial Day | JOY for Today
Memorial Day is not just a day to remember the fallen, but a day to commit to carrying on in their footsteps. What fallen heroes' memories do you honor? What contribution obtained by their bravery and sacrifice brings you joy? How might you continue their labor? Answering these questions and committing to the fight are surefire ways for joy to burst through in your life.
|Remembrance Day: In Flanders Fields by Chuchmouse and Churchmouse Campanologist|
Memorial Day Offerings:
- Did You Know... One we knew; four we didn't.
- Wolfe Stew Connects Musings by the Mrs.
- Bible Verses and Quotes Inspired by Memorial Day
- Activity Suggestions Poetry, crafts & barbecue
- Memorial Day began after the Civil War? The Civil War claimed more American lives than any other war and many communities started holding ceremonies to honor lives lost each spring. The ceremonies consisted of graveside flower arrangements and prayers to honor the fallen. (History.com)
- Waterloo, New York is considered the official birthplace of Memorial Day? The idea of honoring fallen soldiers annually is credited to Henry C. Welles and was hardily supported by passionate patriot and Civil War veteran General John B. Murray. On May 5, 1866, Waterloo, New York flew flags at half mast, draped the town in evergreens, and decorated with black to represent mourning. To the beat of martial music, local citizens marched to each cemetery and decorated graves of fallen soldiers. Similar proceedings occur annually in Waterloo. (Waterloo Library and Historic Society)
- At 3:00 PM local time each Memorial Day there is a national moment of remembrance? Initiated by President Clinton, the specific time designation was to encourage all Americans to take a 1-minute moment of reflection for the fallen soldiers. (Memorial Day Foundation)
- A red poppy is often worn to honor the fallen because of a poem? World War I soldier, Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae of Canada, wrote "In Flanders Fields" (links to Poetry Foundation) where red poppies springing up among fallen soldiers' graves symbolize a request for the living to continue the fight. Moina Michael responded in "We Shall Keep the Faith," (links to Great War) a poem of her own, with a commitment to wear poppies and teach the lessons learned. Now red poppies honor fallen soldiers worldwide. (History.com)
- The traditional Memorial Day barbecue is more about summer than fallen soldiers? We get together on Memorial Day to grill and enjoy good company in recognition of summer's unofficial start. Partially because it's a three-day weekend, and partially because it's near summer's start - but rarely to honor the fallen. (History.com)
We'd Love to Know:
- The Faithfulness Fight: Each time I look at the Mr. and I exchanging our wedding vows, I'm flooded in tenderness and experience a recommitment to the Mr. Marriage is not always easy; it is a fight. But this picture reminds me of my commitment to faithfulness: he is the one I will walk through this life with, the one I grow with, and the one who shares in my laughter and tears. My fight is to together shape this relationship into one God intended: a reflection of His love for the church (Ephesians 5:21-33).
- The Fight for the Next Generation: A picture of my nephew in a suitcase reminds me that my direction, my dedication, and my protection is required for this vulnerable child of God. I must step up to fight for the next generation: to train them in God's ways, to not shy away from this task, to encourage them in the ways of Godliness, and to pray endlessly for their protection and connection. My fight is to inspire the future and prepare the way of the Lord (Isaiah 40:1-11).
- The Fight for Fulfillment: The numerous goofy pictures on my phone remind me not to take life too seriously. None of us are perfect. Not one. God wants us to enjoy life, to experience heaven on earth. Eternity starts now. My fight is to enjoy every moment, to choose beauty over ashes, joy over mourning, and praise over heaviness (Isaiah 61).
We'd Love to Know:
What battles do your pictures represent?
- "Listen to me, you people who pursue righteousness, you people who seek the Lord! Look confidently to the rock from which you were hewn and the quarry from which you were cut." Isaiah 51:1 EHV
- "Remember your leaders. They taught God's message to you. Remember how they lived and died, and copy their faith." Hebrews 13:7 ERV
- "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints." Psalm 116:15 KJV
- "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13 KJV
- "And when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, 'Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of Me.'" I Corinthians 11:24 KJV
- "A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself." - Joseph Campbell
- "It doesn't take a hero to order men into battle. It takes a hero to be one of those men who goes into battle." - Norman Schqarzkopf
- "The brave die never, though they sleep in dust, their courage nerves a thousand living men." - Minot J. Savage
- "We kept the faith and fought the fight; The glory theirs, the duty ours." - Wallace Bruce
- "We honor the dead best by treating the living well." - Jennifer M. Granholm
We'd Love to Know:
Which verse or quote do you wish to hold in your memory?
Our Nephew's Suggestion:"Dress like a soldier." We're thinking camouflage, nerf guns, and snow boots for this one (more ideas at Veterans United).
- Read and discuss "In Flanders Fields" and "We Shall Keep the Faith"
- Craft red poppies:
- With cupcake liners from Pint Sized Treasures
- With felt from The Things She Makes
- With coffee filters from Happy Hooligans
- Have a barbecue.
- Enjoy the classics: hamburgers, hot dogs, and corn-on-the-cob. Or offer suggestions. What are you cooking this Memorial Day?
- Take a moment to honor the fallen soldiers whose torches we now bear.
- Make memorials of your own. (Take pictures.)
We'd Love to Know:
We’re excited to share one more day with you and wish you JOY for Today and HOPE for Tomorrow. Check in next week for...Hot Air Balloon Day!
Fighting the Good Fight with You,
Find even more JOY for Today in our monthly calendars, holiday, and seasonal posts.