Happy Memorial Day! Today we celebrate this official holiday for the 50th year.
Originally Decoration Day, it‘s history dates back to the late 1860’s, after the American Civil War. The first celebration, by some records, show that one of the earliest Memorial Day commemorations was organized by a group of formerly enslaved people in Charleston, South Carolina less than a month after the Confederacy surrendered in 1865.*
We are not always protected from hate, violence, and inhumane practices by those in power. Just this year we had an attack on our nation by domestic terrorists. Heightened racism, sexism, and xenophobia have caused many to live in fear for their own lives. Many citizens in our country still do not have the same freedoms as others caused by a number of issues including, inequality, inequity, and impoverished communities. If we can come together with the common goal of love, respect, and dignity, we can change the world, and the world can live as one.
On Memorial Day, at 3:00 pm local time, you can hear the sound of the sorrow bugle call, “Taps”. Also known as “Butterfield's Lullaby”, “Taps” is the call you’ll hear frequently at Arlington National Cemetery, most famously at The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
This short 24 notes bugle call is used to signal the final call of the evening, and to commemorate those who have fallen in the military. In 2012, Congress recognized “Taps” as the ”National Song of Remembrance”.** It is an honor to play those 24 notes and help lay those to rest. There are no official lyrics to “Taps”, but Taps Historian Jari Villanueva has compiled from research the different variations of lyrics. Below are those lyrics:
Day is done, Gone the sun,
From the lake, From the hill,
From the sky.
All is well, Safely rest,
God is nigh.
Thanks and praise, For our days, Neath the sun, Neath the stars, Neath the sky, As we go, This we know, God is nigh.
Fades the light; And afar Goeth day, And the stars Shineth bright, Fare thee well; Day has gone, Night is on.
Go to sleep, Peaceful sleep, May the Soldier or Sailor, God keep. On the land or the deep, Safe in sleep.
Love, good night, Must thou go,
When the day, And the night Need thee so? All is well. Speedeth all To their rest
Thank you to all who have served and sacrificed their lives to protect our freedoms. Thank you to those who still serve and sacrifice their lives to help save democracy around the world.
You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you can join us, and the world will live as one.
-John Lennon, Imagine
Wyeth Aleksei. May 31, 2021. Memorial Day