Memorial Day History

I found this on the Net and I thought some of you folks might appreciate reading it ūüôā

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation’s service. There are many stories as to its actual beginnings, with over two dozen cities and towns laying claim to being the birthplace of Memorial Day. There is also evidence that organized women’s groups in the South were decorating graves before the end of the Civil War: a hymn published in 1867, “Kneel Where Our Loves are Sleeping” by Nella L. Sweet carried the dedication “To The Ladies of the South who are Decorating the Graves of the Confederate Dead” (Source: Duke University’s Historic American Sheet Music, 1850-1920). While Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966, it’s difficult to prove conclusively the origins of the day.

It is more likely that it had many separate beginnings; each of those towns and every planned or spontaneous gathering of people to honor the war dead in the 1860’s tapped into the general human need to honor our dead, each contributed honorably to the growing movement that culminated in Gen Logan giving his official proclamation in 1868. It is not important who was the very first, what is important is that Memorial Day was established. Memorial Day is not about division. It is about reconciliation; it is about coming together to honor those who gave their all.

General John A. Logan
Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, [LC-B8172- 6403 DLC (b&w film neg.)]

Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war). It is now celebrated in almost every State on the last Monday in May (passed by Congress with the National Holiday Act of 1971 (P.L. 90 – 363) to ensure a three day weekend for Federal holidays), though several southern states have an additional separate day for honoring the Confederate war dead: January 19 in Texas, April 26 in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi; May 10 in South Carolina; and June 3 (Jefferson Davis’ birthday) in Louisiana and Tennessee.

In 1915, inspired by the poem “In Flanders Fields,” Moina Michael replied with her own poem:

We cherish too, the Poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led,
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies.

She then conceived of an idea to wear red poppies on Memorial day in honor of those who died serving the nation during war. She was the first to wear one, and sold poppies to her friends and co-workers with the money going to benefit servicemen in need. Later a Madam Guerin from France was visiting the United States and learned of this new custom started by Ms.Michael and when she returned to France, made artificial red poppies to raise money for war orphaned children and widowed women. This tradition spread to other countries.

In 1921, the Franco-American Children’s League sold poppies nationally to benefit war orphans of France and Belgium. The League disbanded a year later and Madam Guerin approached the VFW for help. Shortly before Memorial Day in 1922 the VFW became the first veterans’ organization to nationally sell poppies. Two years later their “Buddy” Poppy program was selling artificial poppies made by disabled veterans. In 1948 the US Post Office honored Ms Michael for her role in founding the National Poppy movement by issuing a red 3 cent postage stamp with her likeness on it.

Traditional observance of Memorial day has diminished over the years. Many Americans nowadays have forgotten the meaning and traditions of Memorial Day. At many cemeteries, the graves of the fallen are increasingly ignored, neglected. Most people no longer remember the proper flag etiquette for the day. While there are towns and cities that still hold Memorial Day parades, many have not held a parade in decades. Some people think the day is for honoring any and all dead, and not just those fallen in service to our country.

There are a few notable exceptions. Since the late 50’s on the Thursday before Memorial Day, the 1,200 soldiers of the 3d U.S. Infantry place small American flags at each of the more than 260,000 gravestones at Arlington National Cemetery. They then patrol 24 hours a day during the weekend to ensure that each flag remains standing. In 1951, the Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts of St. Louis began placing flags on the 150,000 graves at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery as an annual Good Turn, a practice that continues to this day. More recently, beginning in 1998, on the Saturday before the observed day for Memorial Day, the Boys Scouts and Girl Scouts place a candle at each of approximately 15,300 grave sites of soldiers buried at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park on Marye’s Heights (the Luminaria Program). And in 2004, Washington D.C. held its first Memorial Day parade in over 60 years.

To help re-educate and remind Americans of the true meaning of Memorial Day, the “National Moment of Remembrance” resolution was passed on Dec 2000 which asks that at 3 p.m. local time, for all Americans “To voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a Moment of remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence or listening to ‘Taps.”

The Moment of Remembrance is a step in the right direction to returning the meaning back to the day. What is needed is a full return to the original day of observance. Set aside one day out of the year for the nation to get together to remember, reflect and honor those who have given their all in service to their country.

But what may be needed to return the solemn, and even sacred, spirit back to Memorial Day is for a return to its traditional day of observance. Many feel that when Congress made the day into a three-day weekend in with the National Holiday Act of 1971, it made it all the easier for people to be distracted from the spirit and meaning of the day. As the VFW stated in its 2002 Memorial Day address: “Changing the date merely to create three-day weekends has undermined the very meaning of the day. No doubt, this has contributed greatly to the general public’s nonchalant observance of Memorial Day.”

On January 19, 1999 Senator Inouye introduced bill S 189 to the Senate which proposes to restore the traditional day of observance of Memorial Day back to May 30th instead of “the last Monday in May”. On April 19, 1999 Representative Gibbons introduced the bill to the House (H.R. 1474). The bills were referred the Committee on the Judiciary and the Committee on Government Reform.
© 1994 Р2009 SUVCW & David Merchant
Updated 4 April 2009

Charity Recognition

My daughter and I were at a resource meeting, at the Tigard, OR.¬† American Legion post 148¬† on 15-5-2009. We were very honored to be able to talk about our charity with other organizations, and people who were considerably intertwined with the Military such as Commanding Officers and head people from the V.A.’s Administration.

Gabrielle and I were most pleased when a volunteer with the organization called Soldiers Angels, presented Gabrielle and myself with a Soldier’s Angels pin and coin for our efforts to get our charity started and help our military members. It was a very emotional moment for us, and I had to fight back the tears, as the Soldiers Angles group has done so much for our troops from care packages, to being at the hospital with supplies for our wounded when they come home with nothing.

It was a great honor for a group that has done so much for our troops, to thank us for what we are trying to do. From Gabrielle and myself, we would like to extend another thank you to Soldier’s Angels,¬† for their recognition and support of our charity.

Armed Forces Day.

I would like to encourage any and all people who read this, to take the time to say thank you to a soldier whether you know them or not.


Gabrielle and I are very grateful for everything that you do for us.  We have not forgotten you, nor has our support for you dwindled in any way. Please let us know how we can help you by leaving us a message, and may you all be blessed by your higher power on your hard journey.

Similiar Charity is not us

Apparently when I declined to purchase the web address along with our .org that was a mistake.

 I have received some emails from folks concerned about a gentleman from Las Vegas who is apparently collecting money as a soldier for other soldiers, but there is no contact information for this individual on the site. There is a simple blurb and then a link to donate money. We have zero association with the following website What is also interesting, is that sometimes when you type  the  name of the charity, it will not  bring the site up so I am a bit puzzled.

When I looked up the address through the ICANN registry, this website was apparently put up towards the end of last year, after we started makng our many military contacts. It is our sincere hope that this was not done in an attempt to deceive honest people looking for our site. We are left wondering about that however as the registered owner of the site, does not appear to be the same person who has his picture and name on the website.

 We will do a bit more digging, and I do plan to call some folks to help me look into this, but I cannot do anything about the .com usage. I can only wish that at the time I purchased our website, we had been able to afford to purchase the .com but alas our funding is nothing when compared to the larger charities.

 Please make sure that you tell your friends or associates, that our website ends with .org so they come to the correct website, and always double check your sources when you land on a webpage.

 Take care evryone,


DOJ/IRS Registered


 Hi everyone, I just wanted to take a quick moment to make sure everyone visiting our site, was clear in understanding that we  have both an official EIN and Non-Profit label with the IRS.

¬†We also have an official registry number with the Oregon DOJ. We are¬† proud of this as that means that we have officially passed inspectionby the DOJ, for compliance with State laws regarding charitable organizations. This is important because to be perfectly honest, there are “charities” that can collect funds while prolonging the inspection process, and then simply vanish like a turd down the toilet bowl.¬† I apologize¬†for the graphic imagery, ¬†but that is basically what they are in my own humble opinion.

 I felt that it was important for people to know that we had been presented with our registry number, due to all of the fraudulent charities popping up, and then clearing out as soon as they make a little bit of cash.


 Thanks for taking the time to read this, and I hope it helps to make you feel more comfortable with our charity.

 Warm regards,


Military notes.


 Hello everyone-

 Well I apologize for the delays in posting since the departure of our soldiers on the 2nd, May, 2009. I have been working over-time and have been at a medical facility with my daughter doing some brain exams and it has all been very exhausting.

 I was hoping to have many pictures of the departure ceremony for those of you who find your way to our website, unfortunately I ended up being stuck on Grand Ave. trying to control a 3-way intersection by myself, until a gentleman from The Patriot Guard Riders, happened upon me and blocked a lane with his escort truck. To Noah I am very grateful for his help.

 As a result I missed the ceremony, but I was able to meet up with several soldiers and get my information to them. I was also able to speak with some high ranking folks who passed along my information, and as a result I was just invited to some meeting involving Congressional and Senate Reps. which is absolutely awesome. I am hoping that this will be the break we need to get some financing to our charity and really be able to open up the doors to helping our troops.

 I have a person getting the name of the photographer who was present for the ceremony, and when that happens I will try to get some pictures for the website, as for now I only have the pictures of  Gabrielle getting a soldiers autograph and Gabrielle standing with a group of departing solders. They are great pictures however so please enjoy them. I am asking however that our pictures not be copied and/or redistributed in any way, shape, or form without my prior approval. This is something that I feel must be mentioned due to previous concerns with an not so nice individual I hope you all understand.

 Well when I have more news after my meeting, I will come back and post more for everyone. We would love to get more comments on here so please feel free to leave them, and if you can leave your name, rank and what you are currently doing that would be great (specific location not required of course)

 take care and may all of you walk a safe and protected path. 

  warm regards,


 Brandon Kent