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Memorial Day (previously known as Decoration Day) is a federal holiday in the United States for remembering and honoring the military personnel who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.
- The bugle echoes shrill and sweet,
But not of war it sings to-day.
The road is rhythmic with the feet
Of men-at-arms who come to pray.
- Joyce Kilmer, Memorial Day; this poem was later published in The Army and Navy Hymnal (1920)
- If and when America and American freedom are really threatened, I have no doubt that American men and women will rise to the occasion and show the kind of nobility and heroism that was evident in the Revolution and the Civil War. But in the meantime, we need to stop glorifying all these wars that were criminal, or that could have been avoided. Memorial Day should be a day to demand peace, a day to demand an end to a military-industrial complex that claims nearly half of the nation’s general funds, a day to focus on the real threats to American’s “cherished ideals,” most of which are purely domestic, and a day to celebrate what those ideals are: equalty before the law, freedom of speech and assembly, freedom from government intrusion in our lives, the right to be considered innocent until proven guilty by a jury of our peers, and the right to stand up and say that our political leaders are, for the most part, crooks, charlatans and even war criminals.
- Out of the blood of a conflict fraternal,
Out of the dust and the dimness of death,
Burst into blossoms of glory eternal
Flowers that sweeten the world with their breath.
Flowers of charity, peace, and devotion
Bloom in the hearts that are empty of strife;
Love that is boundless and broad as the ocean
Leaps into beauty and fulness of life.
So, with the singing of pæans and chorals,
And with the flag flashing high in the sun,
Place on the graves of our heroes the laurels
Which their unfaltering valor has won!
- 36 USC 116. Memorial Day (designation law)
- United States Department of Veterans Affairs
- National Moment of Remembrance Home Page
- National Memorial Day Museum website
- National Memorial Day Concert site
- The History of Memorial Day
- Memorial Day celebration suggestions, 1898