· Memorial Day roots go back to Civil War
· 1863 – Wives, daughters, sisters and other loved ones decorated graves in Columbus, Missouri
· 1865 – Freed slaves decorated the graves of Union soldiers in Charleston, South Carolina
· 1866 – Henry Welles, pharmacist in Waterloo, New York, closed his drugstore to honor all soldiers, Union and Confederate, killed in the Civil War
· 1868 – General John Logan, commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, proclaimed May 30th to be Memorial Day
· 1915 – Moina Michael conceived of the red poppy to honor those who died serving this country during war
· In the 1920s – The VFW and American Legion picked up the tradition of the red poppy which continues today
· After WWI, Memorial Day was expanded to honor and commemorate military service members who died serving their country in all wars since the American Revolution
· More than one million Americans have made the ultimate sacrifice since our declaration of independence from England
· Memorial Day is a day set aside to honor our men and women who are the true heroes of these United States, the protectors of our freedom and liberty, and the guiding stars that light our way to a more promising future
It is the Soldier, not the reporter,
Who has given us Freedom of the Press.
It is the Soldier, not the poet,
Who has given us Freedom of Speech.
It is the Soldier, not the campus organizer,
Who has given us the Freedom to demonstrate.
It is the Soldier, not the lawyer,
Who has given us the right to a fair trial;
And it is the Soldier--who salutes the flag,
Who serves the flag, and
Whose coffin is draped by the flag--
Who allows the protester to burn the flag.
I ask everyone to continue to make a difference with your words and actions. God bless our fallen soldiers and God bless America.