I have never been able to think of the day as one of mourning; I have never
quite been able to feel that half-masted flags were appropriate on Decoration
Day. I have rather felt the flag should be at the peak because those
whose dying we commemorate rejoiced in seeing it where their valor placed
it. We honor them in a joyous, thankful, triumphant commemoration of what
they did. Benjamin Harrison
Memorial Day is the day set aside in the United States for the remembrance and honoring of those who have served in our military and have fallen while doing so. It began during the Civil War and was first called Decoration Day. In fact, our 90 year old neighbor still calls it such.
Knowing the younger kids were going to ask me about what Memorial Day is all about I did a quick google search and found the above quote. I thought it interesting because most of what I've ever heard or read of Memorial Day is about mourning and, to be sure, there is that in remembering the men and women who have died securing freedoms around the world. However, I do think, like Benjamin Harrison, that those who volunteer to protect liberty would want the day to be one of celebration also. Their deaths should not be remembered simply because of the loss they brought to us all. Their deaths should be remembered because of the great gifts - freedom, liberty and, ultimately, peace - brought to our country and the world.