Memorial Day

It will soon be Memorial Day.  Somehow every year we drift away from what the day is about and see it as another day off or the official beginning of the summer season.  Another flurry of sale papers inserted into our newspaper and more commercials advertising how to save money.  The history of Memorial Day dates back to the Civil War.  It was first called “Decoration Day” and if you have family members the age of mine, many of them still refer to the day as that. 

A lasting memory of my childhood was watching a Memorial Day parade and seeing my grandmother riding in a convertible with other Blue and Gold Star Mothers.  I was about 8 or 9 and I will always remember my mother telling me about why there were two colors.  My daddy came home from the war so Grandma is a Blue Star Mother.  The Gold Star Mothers had sons who died in the war.  I think it was the first time I really thought about what war was really about.  I had seen death before.  Coming from an era when open casket funerals were the norm, I had seen many old people in their caskets, but this was something else altogether.

Today our country is again at war. As more and more of our soldiers are put in harm’s way, more and more Blue and Gold Star mothers are being created.  I grieve that I know someone who was killed in Afghanistan.   Who will become our next commander-in-chief?  How many more soldiers will die in this war?  Why haven’t the candidates adressed this more?

In honor of my father and father-in-law who served in the Navy during World War II…hear the Naval Academy Band playing one of the most beautiful hymns ever composed. 


“The Navy Hymn: Eternal Father, Strong to Save” by the USNA Band

 Words by Rev. William Whiting.
Music by Rev. John B. Dykes




Verse 1
Eternal Father strong to save
Whose arm hath bound the restless wave
Who bidd’st the mighty ocean deep
Its own appointed limits keep
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee
For those in peril on the sea!

Verse 2
O Christ! Whose voice the waters heard
And hushed their raging at Thy word
Who walked’st on the foaming deep
And calm amidst its rage didst sleep
Oh hear us when we cry to Thee
For those in peril on the sea!

Verse 3
Most Holy Spirit Who didst brood
Upon the chaos dark and rude
And bid its angry tumult cease
And give for wild confusion peace
Oh hear us when we cry to Thee
For those in peril on the sea!

Verse 4
O Trinity of love and power
Our brethren shield in danger’s hour
From rock and tempest, fire and foe
Protect them wheresoe’er they go
Thus evermore shall rise to Thee
Glad hymns of praise from land and sea


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