Memorial Day Weekend “To Do” List

 

You have been bombarded with messages about sales, specials, and entertainment opportunities for this weekend. Please add the following items at the top of your list for the weekend, slipping the big sale a little ways down the page.

If you have not seen the HBO movie Taking Chance (included in Amazon Prime, available elsewhere), watch it. Have a box of tissues or a couple hankies handy. If you had other entertainment plans, watch this trailer, and reassess your priorities for the weekend:

Mark Davis plays a song, “After the War,” twice a year, every Veterans Day and Memorial Day. One recording of the song is sung by Jim Salestrom, with the songwriter, Timothy P. Irvin, coming in with the harmony for part of the song. This was live at the Vietnam War Memorial. I prefer to avoid the images of Bill Clinton, so recommend Tim Irvin’s solo version:

The VA National Cemetery Administration has a schedule of planned ceremonies. Veterans groups, like the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion, are leading grave decoration and Memorial Day ceremonies at other cemeteries. These will likely occur Monday morning, on Memorial Day.

Read “Friday Food and Drink Post: For the Gift I have Received, I am Truly Thankful.” It provides great context for the annual cook-out many will enjoy. I wish you a fine day with friends and loved ones.

As you gather, or if you are alone, at 11 a.m. your time, President Trump asks that you pause to pray for permanent peace. He further asks, with Congress, that we all join in “the National Moment of Remembrance beginning at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day.”

Finally: be safe out there! Watch out for blooming idiots hurrying back from out of town, or a bit bleary with too much holiday spirit and sun. If you mix your alcohol with water, do so in a glass, not in the lake!


Feel free to cross-link your own Memorial Day posts in the comments.


Proclamation on Prayer for Peace, Memorial Day, 2019
Issued on: May 24, 2019

Whether on the battlefields of Bunker Hill, on the beaches of Normandy, in the jungles of Vietnam, or in the mountains and deserts of the Middle East, brave Americans of every generation have given their last full measure of devotion in defense of our country, our liberty, and our founding ideals. On Memorial Day, we humbly honor these incredible patriots and firmly renew our abiding commitment to uphold the principles for which they laid down their lives.

As a free people, we have a sacred duty to remember the courageous warriors who have made the ultimate sacrifice to ensure that our great country would endure. It is our responsibility to strive to ensure that their noble acts of dedication to our country and the cause of freedom were not in vain and to comfort the families they have left behind, who bear the heartbreak of their loss. We must ensure that the light of our Republic, and all for which these most honorable Americans willingly died, continues to shine forth brightly into the world. As President Lincoln said in 1863 during the dedication of the Gettysburg National Military Cemetery: “It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.”

As we approach the 75th anniversary of D-Day, we proudly commemorate those heroic and honorable patriots who gave their all for the cause of freedom during some of history’s darkest hours. Thousands of selfless members of our Armed Forces perished on the beaches of Normandy. They bravely gave their lives to pave the way for the Allied liberation of Europe and ultimately victory over the forces of evil. Their historic sacrifices and achievements secured the future of humanity and proved America’s strength in defending freedom and defeating the enemies of civilization.

Those who rest in the hallowed grounds of our country’s national cemeteries laid their lives upon the altar of freedom. Today, as we unite in eternal gratitude for the sacrifices of these extraordinary Americans, let us also offer a prayer for lasting peace. Let us renew our steadfast resolve to work toward a peaceful future, in which the horrors of war are a distant memory and our families, our communities, and our Nation need no longer confront the sorrow and pain of losing our beloved sons and daughters.

In honor and recognition of all of our fallen heroes, the Congress, by a joint resolution approved May 11, 1950, as amended (36 U.S.C. 116), has requested the President issue a proclamation calling on the people of the United States to observe each Memorial Day as a day of prayer for permanent peace and designating a period on that day when the people of the United States might unite in prayer. The Congress, by Public Law 106-579, has also designated 3:00 p.m. local time on that day as a time for all Americans to observe, in their own way, the National Moment of Remembrance.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim Memorial Day, May 27, 2019, as a day of prayer for permanent peace, and I designate the hour beginning in each locality at 11:00 a.m. of that day as a time when people might unite in prayer.

I further ask all Americans to observe the National Moment of Remembrance beginning at 3:00 p.m. local time on Memorial Day.

I also request the Governors of the United States and its Territories, and the appropriate officials of all units of government, to direct the flag be flown at half-staff until noon on this Memorial Day on all buildings, grounds, and naval vessels throughout the United States and in all areas under its jurisdiction and control. I also request the people of the United States to display the flag at half-staff from their homes for the customary forenoon period.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-fourth day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand nineteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-third.

DONALD J. TRUMP

Published in General
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There are 23 comments.

  1. Jim McConnell Member

    Thank you for the reminder.

    And, I agree — Taking Chance was a must-see experience.

    • #1
    • May 24, 2019, at 7:00 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  2. MarciN Member

    Wonderful post. Thank you.

    Massachusetts has quite a strong military presence. One of the national cemeteries is in Bourne, on Cape Cod.

    Here is the Veterans Administration’s retelling of the history of the national cemeteries. Included in the story is this, which explains why these sacred spaces are so beautiful:

    In 1870, Quartermaster General Montgomery C. Meigs consulted with noted landscape architect,
    Frederick Law Olmsted, regarding the appearance of national cemeteries. Olmsted suggested
    that they be “studiously simple . . . the main object should be to establish permanent dignity and
    tranquility . . . a sacred grove–sacredness being expressed in the enclosing wall and in the perfect
    tranquility of the trees within.” Perhaps as a result of Olmsted’s recommendations, abundant and
    diverse trees, shrubs, and flowers beds embellished the grounds of national cemeteries through the
    nineteenth century.

    During this time, greenhouses were constructed at some national cemeteries to maintain a constant
    supply of plantings for cemetery landscapes. Wooden picket fences were replaced by stone or brick
    walls with iron gates. Excess artillery from the war were installed as “gun monuments,” and decorative
    private headstones and monuments were erected to honor fallen comrades.

    There are ceremonies throughout the state on Memorial Day. But in addition, volunteers plant about 37,000 flags on Boston Common to honor all of the Massachusetts members of the Armed Forces who have died serving their country. Here’s a video explanation of the new tradition started just nine years ago.

    Sometimes I think the best of us died on the battlefields of World War II.

    • #2
    • May 24, 2019, at 7:38 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  3. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown Post author

    See also @mim526Memorial Day Contemplating.”

    • #3
    • May 24, 2019, at 11:20 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  4. 9thDistrictNeighbor Member

    MarciN (View Comment):
    …why these sacred spaces are so beautiful…

    Here is a photo I took in Robert E. Lee’s front yard last fall.

    Arlington is just like the battlefield…a Medal of Honor recipient near a Brigadier General, lying next to a Marine private. 

    • #4
    • May 25, 2019, at 7:03 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  5. Songwriter Member

    Taking Chance is indeed a wonderful movie.

    • #5
    • May 25, 2019, at 7:24 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  6. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown Post author

    The local VFW, American Legion, and two or three youth groups posted American flags at each veteran’s headstone in the main Mesa cemetery this morning. The earliest war represented was the American Civil War. Then there was this simple marker:

    “FORMER P.O.W.” “BATAAN DEATH MARCH”

    • #6
    • May 25, 2019, at 10:55 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  7. 9thDistrictNeighbor Member

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):Then there was this simple marker….

    Oh my. When I see these sorts of things, I stop feeling sorry for myself.

    • #7
    • May 25, 2019, at 12:46 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  8. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown Post author

    Oh, and it did not matter which side you fought on in the Civil War; an American flag was planted by the graves of both Union and Confederate veterans (I saw two such headstones). This goes back to the likely origin of the holiday, as women on both sides drove the movement towards formal recognition of a day on which war graves would be decorated.

    I wrote before about the RAF cadets who died in training here. They are honored as our allies, with our flag marking their sacrifice on this American holiday.

    • #8
    • May 25, 2019, at 2:01 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  9. Kay of MT Member

    9thDistrictNeighbor (View Comment):
    Oh my. When I see these sorts of things, I stop feeling sorry for myself.

    Isn’t that the truth.

    • #9
    • May 25, 2019, at 3:20 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  10. Slow on the uptake Thatcher

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    The local VFW, American Legion, and two or three youth groups posted American flags at each veteran’s headstone in the main Mesa cemetery this morning. The earliest war represented was the American Civil War. Then there was this simple marker:

    “FORMER P.O.W.” “BATAAN DEATH MARCH”

    If I read he marker correctly, he would have been 19 on that march.

    • #10
    • May 25, 2019, at 5:50 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  11. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown Post author

    Slow on the uptake (View Comment):

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    The local VFW, American Legion, and two or three youth groups posted American flags at each veteran’s headstone in the main Mesa cemetery this morning. The earliest war represented was the American Civil War. Then there was this simple marker:

    “FORMER P.O.W.” “BATAAN DEATH MARCH”

    If I read he marker correctly, he would have been 19 on that march.

    Yes, just barely turned 19.

    • #11
    • May 25, 2019, at 6:27 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  12. Susan Quinn Contributor

    So many sad stories. So many brave soldiers. Thank you, Clifford.

    • #12
    • May 25, 2019, at 6:36 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  13. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown Post author

    See also: @jimgeorgeRemembering the Boys of Pointe du Hoc this Memorial Day.”

    See also: @thegreatadventureMemorial Day – Honoring My Grandfather.”

    • #13
    • May 25, 2019, at 7:19 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  14. Mim526 Member

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    See also @mim526Memorial Day Contemplating.”

    Thanks for the shout out, @cliffordbrown :-) In the spirit of that OP I wish to thank you, Colonel (if I recall correctly?) for your years of service to our country and pledge to do my best to be the kind of American worth fighting for. God bless you and yours this Memorial Day.

    • #14
    • May 25, 2019, at 8:45 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  15. Stad Thatcher

    Clifford A. Brown: If you have not seen the HBO movie Taking Chance (included in Amazon Prime, available elsewhere), watch it

    Excellent choice, and ditto on the tissues . . .

    • #15
    • May 26, 2019, at 5:16 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  16. Ansonia Member

    Will pray at 11 am, and observe the moment at 3pm, as President requested. Will also make sure to watch “Taking Chance” tonight or tomorrow.

    Thank you for this post, Clifford A. Brown.

    • #16
    • May 26, 2019, at 7:31 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  17. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown Post author

    From Power Line:

    We ate lunch at a Chick-fil-A today. When we entered the restaurant, the first thing we saw was an empty table that was set up to honor fallen military personnel over the Memorial Day weekend. There was a red rose, a folded flag, an inverted glass and an open Bible, along with text explaining the elements of the display. Click to enlarge:

     

    • #17
    • May 26, 2019, at 5:32 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  18. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown Post author

    C-SPAN covered the final Rolling Thunder. Over an hour of rumbling V-twin engines.

     

    • #18
    • May 26, 2019, at 5:56 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  19. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown Post author

    The annual national Memorial Day ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery.

    https://www.c-span.org/video/?460913-1/memorial-day-observance-arlington-national-cemetery&live

    • #19
    • May 27, 2019, at 8:35 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  20. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown Post author

    President Trump and the First Lady observed Memorial Day on the U.S.S. Wasp, in Japan. [Live now, 22:40 East Coast time.]

    He just put a young Marine in front of the microphone and had him say a few extemporaneous words. Naturally the young sergeant rose to the occasion.

    • #20
    • May 27, 2019, at 7:43 PM PDT
    • Like
  21. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown Post author

    Mid-evening round-up:

    Memorial Day in a Small Town

    1st Lieutenant Ernest Braxton Allen, Junior

    Memorial Day Contemplating 2

    Freedom Isn’t Free: A Repost

    Irony

    Sgt Brad Harper, USMC

    In Memoriam: Johnnie D. Hutchins

    Go Ahead and BBQ Today

     

    • #21
    • May 27, 2019, at 8:32 PM PDT
    • Like
  22. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown Post author

    I will post on a local Memorial Day ceremony in a bit, but offer now this link to a prose piece, recited by the author, Patricia Palmer, this morning: “I am an American Soldier.”

    It’s mid December of 1777 and the place is called Valley Forge. It is a terrible winter. I have no shoes and my feet are wrapped in old dirty rags. I am exhausted after marching for miles. My feet are frozen and I have left a trail of bloody footprints. My belly aches from hunger. The winds howl as I sit around a small fire eating fire cakes made of flour and water. I have dysentery and fear I will not last the winter but I am an American soldier and I will survive.

    […]

    Today is the day I will die on foreign soil. It is October 22nd, 2015 and I am a Staff Sergeant with special forces. I have already won eleven Bronze stars fighting for my country. Today I will help free 70 Kurdish hostages from imminent torture and death. My government says this is not a combat mission but my wife will tell my four sons that their dad died a hero during combat in Iraq. I do not think of myself as a hero, just an American soldier doing what he is trained to do. I am the first American to die fighting ISIS Terrorists.

    [,,,]

    • #22
    • May 27, 2019, at 8:45 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  23. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown Post author

    My observation of a Memorial Day ceremony.

    • #23
    • May 30, 2019, at 11:02 PM PDT
    • Like