Memorial Day

..Is just around the corner. This day is not only the unofficial first day of summer, but it was invented to help us focus on those who have given their lives for this country.

“…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.

Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.” (from

This remembering function has been extended to remember all who have died. which gets personal after you have lost someone you love.

Remembering is also a biblical function. Jesus tells us to remember – “do this in remembrance of me” – which is the establishment of our communion service. Jehovah told the Hebrews to remember – have Passover to remember being brought safely out of slavery in Egypt.

How do you remember your child now? Here are some ideas other families have implemented:  Flowers and decorations at the grave, changed seasonally  Create a scholarship at his school, for a student with interests similar to your child’s interests  Flowers at church on a significant date given in his or her memory  Change your career to reflect your child’s interests.  A photo album (or several)  An on-line tribute (I have been looking for a specific site. Found many. Even your funeral home may offer this service.)  Become involved in a program that benefits others who are struggling with the same disease that took his or her life  Become involved in a program that brings healing from something that had hurt him  Give time or resources to something she or he was passionate about  Create an event in his name. Use his interests to help guide your thinking in planning this event  Always use specific candle sticks or ornaments that represent the child, at any event in the future  Plant a garden to remember him – in a public space or in your own yard.  Collect memories of him in a journal, or a recording of you and others telling those stories  Collect trinkets that remind you of him and his interests. This could take the form of decorating a Christmas tree with trinkets-as-ornaments  Create a shadow box of items important to them or your memories of them  Make a quilt or wall hanging from their favorite t-shirts  Make a stuffed bear from their bathrobe or t-shirts              And the list goes on. You can see that there are as many styles of memorials as there are bereaved parents. You get to chose what is meaningful to you and represents your child’s life.  What have you done in your child’s memory?