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"Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people."  Proverbs 14:34 (NKJV)
America is called the land of the free and the home of the brave because of the valiant men and women who died while serving in the United States military. We honor their sacrificial bravery by observing Memorial Day on the last Monday in May. Originally known as Decoration Day in the years following the Civil War, it became an official federal holiday in 1971. Americans show their respect by visiting cemeteries and placing flags and flowers on the graves of fallen soldiers. Many Americans wear red poppies to honor the fallen. Official ceremonies are held, families gather, and parades are held. God Bless America!
You and I enjoyed many freedoms today because of these sacrificial acts. The Civil War, which ended in 1865, claimed more lives than any other conflict in our history and required the establishment of the first national cemeteries. Americans remember, memorialize, pray, and thank God for delivering us from enemies. Truly wars and rumors of war will always exist and demand a strong defense for America.  A strong military will always be needed to preserve peace and protect our homeland. God Bless America!
Waterloo, New York, was finally named as the place where Memorial Day observances began--against various other claims. On May 5, 1868, General John A. Logan, leader of an organization for Northern Civil War Veterans, called for a nationwide day of remembrance.   According to History Editors, May 30th, 1868, was named as the date to place flowers and flags on veteran's graves. Logan called it Decoration Day because no battle was fought on that day.  General James Garfield made a speech on that first Decoration Day at Arlington Cemetery. This was the spark which united continuous Memorial Day observances for fallen soldiers. God Bless America!
Changes began to take place. Since that date also signaled the beginning of summer, congress enacted the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which established Memorial Day as the last Monday in May. This created a three-day weekend for federal employees . . . Memorial Day also became a federal holiday. Celebrations were enlarged to include family trips, barbeques, and other celebratory events. Joy joined the somewhat somber events in which we remember the Apostle Paul's admonition, "Giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."  Ephesians 5:20 (NKJV)
"God bless America, land that we love.
Stand beside her, and guide her,
through the night with a light from above."
(Irving Berlin, 1938)
Charles Foxworth
Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in Education (Ret.)--Louisiana Tech University -- Ruston, Louisiana
Supply Minister for Concord/Union Baptist Association -- Ruston, Louisiana
eThoughts Team -- Extended Week-day Free Devotionals -- Vol. X, No. 05-58G -- Archived 
Dr. Nelda Hughes Spinks, Professor Emerita -- Editor and Publisher
Scripture is taken from THE NEW KING JAMES VERSION, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All Rights Reserved. 
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