Memorial Day is About Remembrance and Honor

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Please take time this Memorial Day holiday to say thank you to a veteran, and think about the sacrifices our troops and their families have extended to keep us all safe. Their courage and their strength is remarkable, honorable and forever, unforgettable.     

Just as it's never about the messenger, but rather the message. Remember, it's not about the war -it's about the warriors.

Find links to a variety of support organizations that can help you support the troops and their families at  -here's just a few of the many links found on their site.

The Virtual Wall Vietnam Memorial
- The Virtual Wall Vietnam Veterans Memorial publishes photographs, poems, letters, and citations remembering those who died in the Vietnam War.
- In an effort to give back StudentLawns.Org requires it's members to provide free lawn maintenance to a senior citizen or United States military veteran. Student Lawns is an Austin, Texas based Lawn Service Company. We mow lawns and provide basic yard maintenance services at a reasonable rate.
- The Freedom Alliance Scholarship Fund honors the bravery and dedication exhibited by Americans in our armed forces who have sacrificed life and limb by providing educational scholarships to their children.
- Citizen Soldier Family Support Foundation, Inc. is a 501 (C)(3), non-profit established in early 2005. Our primary purpose is to serve citizen-soldiers and their familiies in need of financial, residential, vocational and transitional assistance.
- Operation First Response mission is to assist the wounded military and their families with personal and financial needs who are serving our country during Operation Iraqi Freedom and forward.
Armed Services YMCA
- The YMCA has provided educational, recreational, social and religious support to the military since 1861 and continues that effort with the Defense Department through the Armed Services YMCA headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia.
Operation Gratitude -
- OPERATION GRATITUDESM, together with the California Army National Guard, 746th QM BN, Van Nuys, seek to lift troops' morale, and bring a smile to their faces by sending Care Packages to service members overseas. OPERATION GRATITUDESM Care Packages contain food, toiletries, necessities, entertainment items and personal letters of appreciation, all wrapped with good wishes of love and support.
-The Foundation's communications network offers soldiers more than 8,000 miles away the opportunity to participate in milestone family events such as births, birthdays, weddings and school graduations. It will soon include installations at military hospitals here in the United States, to enable soldiers to interact with their newborn children and loved ones who have become ill with video conferencing. One project, "Bracelets Across America" are a vinyl wristband with a reusable metal snap.
Helping Our Heroes Foundation
- Our Mission provides funding, services, and volunteers to augment the support of our military injured in either Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan) or Operation Iraqi Freedom, and runs parallel to the initiatives identified in the Disabled Soldiers Support System (DS3).
56th Brigade Phone Card Drive
- In January 2005, the Texas Army National Guard 56th Brigade Combat Team will be sent to Iraq in the largest overseas deployment of the Texas National Guard since World War II. In addition to thanking these men and women for their service by attending the deployment ceremony at 2 p.m. Jan. 1 in Floyd Casey Stadium, Baylor University and other Central Texas organizations are asking you to support our troops by helping them stay in touch with their families and loved ones while serving in Iraq. We intend to send every member of the Guard off to Iraq with a prepaid "phone card" in their pack.
- "Support Our Troops Fund" is a 501(c)(3) organization. Donations are tax deductible. Due to some hard work by a great man, he has managed to get donations to "VVA 100 Support Our Troops Fund" tax deductible. VVA100 is a 501(c) (19) Fraternal NPO and the State Charter Numbers are #61 62 60, all donations sent to Support Our Troops are 100% tax deductable.
-Wounded Warriors was started by the soldiers, sailors, airmen, civilians and Marines of the U.S. European Command to purchase quality-of-life items for those soldiers, airmen, sailors and Marines wounded or injured in Iraq and Afghanistan and evacuated to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Germany.
- The Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund helps Marines, sailors, and their families meet their financial needs during difficult times. The Fund works closely with the Marine Corps, the Navy, and hospitals nationwide to identify and assess the needs of specific families.
- Operation Uplink is a unique program that keeps military personnel and hospitalized veterans in touch with their families and loved ones by providing them with a free phone card. Using contributions from supporters like you, Operation Uplink purchases phone cards and distributes them to servicemen and women who are separated from those they care about.
- Show your support for the Troops in a very official way.
- The great intangible of America's wars beyond logistics, beyond strategy, beyond wonder weapons and Generals, is the spiritual force of its fighting men and women - and that is the force that the USO so magnificently serves...
- We are mothers who have or have had children serving in the military . We are a non-profit 501(c)3 service organization supporting each other, our children and promoting patriotism .
- The Soldiers' Angels was started by a self-described "ordinary mother" of an ordinary young man turned hero, Corporal Brandon Varn. Brandon was deployed in Iraq and has since honorably completed his mission and has returned back to his proud and loving family.
- The Wounded Warrior Project was founded on the principle that veterans are our nation's greatest citizens. The Project seeks to assist those men and women of our armed forces who have been severely injured during the conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other hot spots around the world.
My Soldier
- My Soldier is a program that puts politics aside and lets U.S. soldiers know that someone back home cares. Sgt. Juan Salas, who served for 14 months in Iraq, established the program with the help of his school, Manhattanville College, when he returned from the war.
- Operation Military Pride is a volunteer organization with a wide range of activities-all of which are to boost the morale of our troops deployed overseas. We not only send cards, letters and care packages ourselves, but also distribute troop names and addresses to patriots wanting to send cards, letters or care packages directly to troops. We are one of the very few groups that allow direct contact with a service member, eliminating the "middle man" and expenses.
- Operation Troop Support, a 501c3 non-profit organization, aims to help soldiers and their families. Our group supplies deployed soldiers with needed items that are difficult to obtain overseas, and locally, we provide support to the family support meetings and to the food pantry.
All For Our Military
- An email or pen pal project designed to send correspondence to troops who do not receive large amounts of mail. Information, commentary, and related links.
eMail Our Military
- Free service providing encouragement, motivation, and support to the United States military via email and postal mail.
Letters From Home
- Volunteer-based program that supports military personnel through letters and calling cards.
Military Support Group for Our Homefront Heroes
- Provides support for service men and women, and their families. Access for hard to find web sites with military support information. Based in Grand Junction, Colorado. Information, events, and links.

Find many more links here at

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Memorial Day is a day to remember those that have died to keep us safe and free, Veterans Day is the day that we how our appreciation to those that served our country’s
Military. This is an article that can help explain

Community News see more »
Memorial Day – Its Origin
Submitted by Ross J. Cox, Sr., Adjutant, Wiley B. Murray, Post No. 27
May 21, 2009
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Traditional observance of Memorial Day has diminished over the years. Many Americans today have forgotten the meaning and the traditions of Memorial Day. People often confuse the day with Veterans Day (November 11th), and make mention of their sacrifice. Still others think the day is to honor all of the dead. Sadly, many people just think of the day as another long three-day weekend for family reunions, out of town travel, barbeques and backyard fun. However, the day is steeped in tradition and its solemn beginnings are accredited to the women of the South.

The story begins in Georgia. It is a matter of record that the Mrs. Charles Williams of Columbus, Georgia, instituted the custom of decorating soldiers’ graves with flowers. She was a remarkable woman, the daughter of Major John Howard, of Milledgeville, Georgia. She married Major C. J. Williams on his return from Mexican-American War. Later, during the War For Southern Independence (1861-1865), Major Williams served as Colonel of the First Georgia Regiment of The Army of Northern Virginia. He died of disease in 1862 and was buried in Columbus.

Mrs. Williams and her daughter visited his grave every day and often comforted themselves by wreathing it with flowers. While mother sat abstractedly thinking of her lost loved one, her daughter would pluck weeds from the unmarked Confederate soldiers’ graves near her fathers, and cover them with flowers, calling them “her soldiers graves.” After a short time, death tragically summoned the little girl and Mrs. Williams took charge of these unknown graves for her daughters’ sake. As she cared for these graves, the thought of the thousands of patriots who gave their lives for the Southern Cause, and who were buried in unknown graves, far from home and kindred came to her.

She then proposed an idea of having one day set aside every year to remember the war dead. That day was the 26th day April, for all practical purposes the last day of the war.

It was on April 26th that Confederate General Joseph Johnston surrendered to Major General W. T. Sherman near Durham, North Carolina. Robert E. Lee had already surrendered to Grant on April 9th and Johnston’s surrender, for the most part, ended the war.

However, there were other surrenders in other theaters such as on May 4th General Richard Taylor (son of Zachary Taylor 12th President of the United States) surrendered at Citronelle, Alabama, on June 2nd General Edmund Kirby Smith surrendered the Confederate Department of the Trans Mississippi to Major General Canby, and on June 23rd General Stand Watie surrendered Cherokee forces in Oklahoma.
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Mrs. Williams used her influence and wrote to newspapers and the numerous Southern Aid Societies across the former Confederacy, and urged them to petition their legislatures to make the day an official day of mourning. In those days women did not have the right to vote, but had great influence, and they worked together.

Her message was “ We beg the assistance of the press and the ladies throughout the South to aid us in the effort to set apart a certain day to be observed from the Potomac to the Rio Grande, and to be handed down through time as a religious custom of the South, to wreath the graves of our martyred dead with flowers, and we propose the 26th day of April as the day.”

Their plan worked. In 1866 the Legislature of Georgia set apart the 26th day of April as a legal holiday in obedience to her request. The other states that followed were Alabama, Florida, and Mississippi. Different days were set as May 10th in South Carolina, June 3rd (Jefferson Davis’ birthday) in Louisiana and Tennessee, and January 19th in Texas (Robert E. Lee’s birthday). Mrs. Williams lived long enough to see her plan adopted all over the South. She died April 15, 1874, and was buried with military honors.

The idea spread over the entire United States and was celebrated quite separately. On the Union side, Memorial Day was celebrated on May 30th, as an order issued by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR). The GAR was the powerful veterans organization of former union soldiers. The organization was powerful not only in numbers, but in politics as well. To be elected to any office, the GAR vote, or soldiers’ vote, was critical. The first state to recognize May 30th as a holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890, it was adopted by most all north states.

As time marched on the country slowly grew back together, and fought more wars too. Finally, after the Spanish American War and World War I, May 30th was set aside by the entire country to honor their war dead. However, things began to change and by 1971, Congress passed the National Holiday Act to ensure a three-day weekend for federal holidays.

It is no wonder that Memorial Day has almost evolved into just another long weekend, instead of a special single day of remembrance. At many cemeteries, the graves of the fallen are increasingly ignored and many people do not know proper flag etiquette for the day. While there are towns and cities that still hold a Memorial Day parade, many have not had one in decades.

There is a movement to help re-educate and remind Americans of the true meaning of Memorial Day, The National Moment of Remembrance. This was an act passed in 2000, which asked that at 3:00P.M. local time, for all Americans “To voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a “moment of remembrance and respect” for our war dead.

Although the National Moment of Remembrance is considered as a right step to help restore the meaning of the day, what may be needed is the return to the original day of observance. One day, set aside out of the year for the nation to get together to remember, reflect, and honor those who have given their lives, their all, for their country. It is not a day for veterans or the living; that is observed on Veterans Day in November. However, it is a day to remember our war dead, those who paid for our liberties with their lives.

The American Legion of San Saba will be meeting and holding a prayer breakfast at 6:30 a.m. at The Lunch Box, 406 N. High, on Memorial Day, Monday, May 25th.

Casey Clement, Minister of the San Saba Church of Christ will be bringing the message. Veterans interested in belonging to the American Legion are invited to attend. The American Legion of San Saba takes this time to remind the public that freedom is not free.

Our liberties have been bought and paid for with blood. So, on Memorial Day, just give a little time, clean a grave, fly a flag and just remember. Also remember the origin, the great women of the South, and thousands like Mrs. Charles Williams, who worked diligently and began this great tradition of remembrance.

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