Tag: holiday

Memorial Day was Decoration Day.

Vintage Memorial Day Card of Lady Liberty & Her Blossoms

We’re having a peaceful holiday weekend, but it’s very easy to forget why we have this holiday and what it is about, so I wanted to take a moment and reflect on the actual holiday. Memorial Day was once know as Decoration Day. Under either name, it’s a day to remember those who served and perished during war. The first Decoration Day was held shortly “after the American Civil War to commemorate the Union soldiers who died in the Civil War.” The holiday has been expanded to encompass those from wars since. Parades and cemetery visits punctuate this day, and gravesites are decorated. The following poem shares the mixture of love, loss, gratitude, and suffering traditionally experienced today.

Decoration Day

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Sleep, comrades, sleep and rest
  On this Field of the Grounded Arms,
Where foes no more molest,
  Nor sentry’s shot alarms!

Ye have slept on the ground before,
  And started to your feet
At the cannon’s sudden roar,
  Or the drum’s redoubling beat.

But in this camp of Death
  No sound your slumber breaks;
Here is no fevered breath,
  No wound that bleeds and aches.

All is repose and peace,
  Untrampled lies the sod;
The shouts of battle cease,
  It is the Truce of God!

Rest, comrades, rest and sleep!
  The thoughts of men shall be
As sentinels to keep
  Your rest from danger free.

Your silent tents of green
  We deck with fragrant flowers;
Yours has the suffering been,
  The memory shall be ours.

An Extended Holiday

Our Christmas holiday brought with it a certain laziness. We stayed snuggled up in the house with our kitties, music, movies, radio, reading, and cooking.

Some new-to-our-music-rotation favorites were Christmas with the Puppini Sisters, The Crosby Christmas Sessions, Jo Stafford’s Happy Holidays: I Love the Winter Weather, and Pink Martini’s Joy to the World.

A lot of that radio was of the old time variety. Some highlights include Jack Benny, The Great Gildersleeve, Our Miss Brooks, and George Burns and Gracie Allen. An episode of Truth or Consequences brought us to tears. Listening to that show isn’t for the faint of heart. A hospitalized, paralyzed soldier was brought aurally home through the magic of radio only to be brought to tears himself by a special surprise.

I caught up with some blogs, newspapers, and the latest edition of Zelda, but some books remained neglected–only for now.

I’ll save movie details for my film blog, but I will share that we’ve been watching Christmas movies since Thanksgiving, and my husband was in charge of this year’s programming.

And like Carole Lombard above, “Santa” gave us thoughtful and delightful presents. I keep smelling my wrists to whiff the Lily of the Valley perfume he gave me, while my husband has lounged every evening in his red plaid robe.

A lot of ham, root vegetables, Brussels sprouts, cookies, and chocolate were consumed, but exercise routines have been resumed before any disastrous effects were noticed.

The holiday was just what we needed, so much so we’re taking an extended holiday this year. Neither of us are working between Christmas and New Year’s. After all isn’t the best gift the gift of time with loved ones?