With Memorial Day weekend looming, we hope you will take a moment to join with us in honoring those for which the day stands. While some may look at this important holiday as the traditional start of the summer season, it’s true purpose is to provide an official day when Americans can recognize and remember those who gave everything to protect the freedoms we enjoy each day.
A Rich and Vibrant History
The practice of honoring those who fall during battle is actually a centuries old tradition in many cultures. The ancient Romans and Greeks routinely observed days of remembrance for their soldiers, both living and dead. In fact, public festivals, feasts, and ceremonies to adorn the graves were known to exist as far back as 431 B.C. for those lost in the Peloponnesian War.
In the United States, Memorial Day’s beginnings are just as rich and vibrant as those from ancient Greece and Rome. One such event occurred towards the end of the Civil War in our sister state, South Carolina. Thousands of Union soldiers were being held as prisoners of war, encamped in Charleston, near the Citadel areas. Conditions were very dire and more than 250 of them died and were buried in a mass grave.
On May 1, 1865, just three weeks after the war’s end, more than a thousand recently freed slaves joined regiments of the U.S. Colored Troops, and local residents to consecrate and decorate a proper, burial site for those who had been buried in the mass grave. Their actions that day, complete with speeches, prayers, and floral decorations, are just one of several similar events that gave birth to Decoration Day, which evolved into the Memorial Day we continue to celebrate today.
A Day of Remembrance and New Hope
Taking part in the rich tradition of Memorial Day by attending remembrance events, placing flags on the graves of our fallen soldiers, and displaying flags on our homes and businesses are remain excellent ways to pause, honor, and remember those who gave their all. But Memorial Day can also be about new hope for those who return from service to our country with physical or emotional scars that will may never go away.
The Wounded Warrior Project began in 2003 as a way to provide support for those who received physical or mental injuries or illness due to military service on or after September 11, 2001. In the years since it was formed, the Wounded Warriors Project has served tens of thousands of ill or injured military service members and helped them to rebuild their health and their lives. May we suggest that we all take time to start a new family tradition for each Memorial Day by donating generously to this cause?
A Way to Honor Our Local Vets on Memorial Day and Beyond
North Carolina’s Accessible Outdoors Program provides an excellent way to honor our local vets long after Memorial Day is over. With improved access to favorable fishing and hunting areas and allowances for the use of special equipment, it was designed to help mobility impaired residents and guests enjoy the freedom and exhilaration of hunting, fishing, and spending time enjoying North Carolina’s woods and waters.
As part of the process of making it easier for our disabled vets and citizens to enjoy the outdoors, specially designed ‘Track Chairs” and adaptive fishing tackle and gear are available through a checkout program.
Memorial Day is the perfect time to get involved locally with our veterans, especially those who are dealing with lasting health or physical limitations from their service. Consider taking a vet fishing in one of the areas designated by the Accessible Outdoors Program or spending an afternoon with them fishing from crappie and catfish in the pond on your farm. Even these simple acts can help improve the outlook and quality of life for those who have sacrificed so much for us.
From Legacy Farms and Ranches of North Carolina to You
Gardner, Frank and the entire staff of Legacy Farms and Ranches of North Carolina would like to encourage everyone to take time this Memorial Day to remember and honor the veterans from our past, as well as those still living.
Have a Blessed and Safe Memorial Day 2018!
Gardner (919) 749-3177
Frank (919) 696-4249