In May, 1868, after several years of various parts of our country taking time to honor and remember the veterans of the civil war by spreading flowers over the graves of casualties of that war, a national movement took hold and the first national day of remembrance was held. At the time it was called Decoration day but over time has been dubbed Memorial Day. It became a National holiday effective in 1971 and was designated as being celebrated on the last Monday in May. May was originally chosen because May of each year is the most prolific for blooming flowers.
As the Memorial Day holiday approaches and we try to find time during this national pandemic to gather together as best we can and as has become our tradition, let us pause and reflect on the purpose of this holiday. A portion of the ceremony that was developed to honor our masonic brothers who chose to serve our country in the military, mentions several things that are moving and should be remembered during this holiday.
“WHILE THIS SERVICE MAY HAVE BEEN IN A TIME OF WAR OR A TIME OF PEACE, IT HAS BEEN THROUGH THEIR LOVE, LOYALTY AND ZEALOUS SENSE OF DUTY THAT WE MAY CONTINUE TO LIVE TOGETHER FREELY AND HONORABLY.
NO MATTER WHICH BRANCH THEY SERVED IN, WHATEVER THEIR JOB PATH, OR HOW MANY YEARS THEY SERVED, RAISING THEIR HAND AND COMMITTING THEMSELVES TO SERVICE IN THE MILITARY WAS A BRAVE AND SELFLESS ACT.
NOW, AS WE PAY TRIBUTE TO THOSE BROTHER WHO SO GALLANTLY SERVED OUR COUNTRY, LET US NEVER FORGET THE SACRIFICES HE AND HIS FAMILY MADE TO PRESERVE THE FREEDOMS OF THIS GREAT NATION.
HELP US TO REMEMBER THAT THE FREEDOMS WE ENJOY IN THIS GREAT COUNTRY DID NOT COME WITHOUT COST, THAT OUR BROTHERS AND THE MEN AND WOMEN LIKE THEM PAID FOR THEM WITH THEIR BLOOD, SWEAT AND TEARS.”
During your holiday activities, take time to close your eyes, take several deep breaths and contemplate, reflect and concentrate on exactly what this date means and the sacrifices made on our behalf. Then say a prayer for the families and loved ones who still suffer the loss of a loved one and REMEMBER.
May God bless and protect each of you and our great nation.
Stanton T. Brown II
Grand Master 2019-2020