Happy Memorial Day

Happy Memorial Day

The Palmetto Amateur Radio Club would like to wish everyone a Happy Memorial Day.

Let us remember the Heroes who gave it all for this country’s freedom and safety. Freedom is not free, and Memorial Day reminds us of this painful fact. Many patriots have given their lives for our freedom, and we must remember them as gratitude for their ultimate sacrifice.

Memorial Day started in the early 1860s, known as Decoration Day. And this is how it started.

Memorial Day, A Time For Healing

These ideas crossed Abraham Lincoln’s mind in the late fall of 1863. His greatest worry was that he might very possibly be the last president of the United States, a country that was waging “a great civil war..testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure.” On November 19 that year, he made his opening remarks while standing on the field close to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

The Gettysburg Address turned into what might be called the first observance of Memorial Day.

Lincoln’s purpose that day was to dedicate a portion of the battlefield as a cemetery for the thousands of men, both living and dead, who consecrated that soil in the sacrifice of battle. Said Abraham Lincoln: “That from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause which they gave the last full measure of devotion…that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom…”

The following year, on a nice Sunday in October of 1864, a teenage girl named Emma Hunter was gathering flowers in a cemetery outside of Boalsburg, Pennsylvania, for her father’s grave. He was a surgeon who died while fighting for the Union Army during the bitter Civil War. Flowers were being scattered nearby on the grave of Mrs. Elizabeth Meyer’s son Amos, a private who had died on the final day of the Gettysburg conflict. Emma placed some of her flowers on Amos’s tomb dignifiedly. In response, Mrs. Meyer placed some of her recently cut flowers on Dr. Hunter’s grave. Both women felt a lightening of their burdens by this act of honoring each other’s loss and agreed to meet again the next year. This time they agreed they would also visit the graves of those without one left to honor them.

On the predetermined date, Independence Day, July 4, 1865, Emma Hunter and Elizabeth Meyer returned to the Boalsburg graveyard. But this time, they discovered that almost every person in the town had joined them. Following a service delivered by priest Dr. George Hall, community members helped adorn each grave in the cemetery with flowers and flags. Soon after Boalsburg started holding the tradition yearly, other nearby towns started holding their own “Decoration Days” in the spring.

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