In Memory of Sacrifice & Valor

May 24th, 2019 by

Memorial Day

Memorial day is so much more than a long weekend to have a BBQ or get stuff done around the house. It is a day to remember those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our great country, and all the freedoms that we enjoy.

This day of remembrance originally started due to the tremendous loss of life of the Civil War. Placing flowers on the graves began in 1864 by women in Boalsburg, PA when they adorned the graves of those who had died in the Battle of Gettysburg.

General John A. Logan issued General Orders No. 11 on May 5, 1868 to officially designate May 30th for decorating the graves of those who died in defense of their country. This day originally known as decoration day became known as Memorial Day around 1882, however, it wasn’t changed by law until 1967. The Federal Holiday was established in 1888. This only applied to federal employees. It wasn’t until 1873 that the first state, New York, designated Memorial Day as a legal holiday. Congress changed the official holiday to the last Monday in May in 1971.

It is customary to fly the flag at half staff until noon on Memorial Day and then raise the flag to the top of the staff until sunset. The National Moment of Remembrance is to take place at 3 p.m.  This act was passed by congress in 2000.  A moment of silence to remember the men and women who have given their lives for their country.

Medals of Honor

On December 21, 1861 President Abraham Lincoln signed into law an act of Congress regarding the Medal of Honor. This was the only military award authorized during the American Civil War.  The Medal of Honor was presented for meritorious actions that would not necessarily be recognized by the Armed Services today. There were three Medal of Honor recipients to men from Wisconsin who fought in the Civil War.

Corporal Daniel B Moore:

Born in Iowa County. Part of the 11th Wisconsin Infantry, Company E.

Citation: At the risk of his own life saved the life of and officer who had been shot down and overpowered by superior numbers.

Private Peter Anderson:

Born in LaFayette County. Part of the 31st Wisconsin Infantry, Company B.

Citation: Entirely unassisted, brought from the field an abandoned piece of artillery and saved the gun from falling into the hands of the enemy.

Sergeant Jefferson Coates:

Born in Grant County. Part of the 7th Wisconsin Infantry, Company H.

Citation: Unsurpassed courage in battle, where he had both eyes shot out.

The Medal of Honor is the highest award for valor in action against enemy force that can be bestowed upon an individual serving in the Armed Services. To this day only 3,500 medals have been awarded to recipients across all military branches.

Remembrance Poppy

The artificial red poppy flower was adopted by the American Legion to commemorate American soldiers who were killed in World War I. It is a recognized symbol of sacrifice. The flower was inspired by the WWI poem “In Flanders Fields” by Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow

    Between the crosses, row on row,

  That mark our place; and in the sky

  The larks, still bravely singing, fly

Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

  Loved and were loved, and now we lie

      In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:

To you from failing hands we throw

  The torch; be yours to hold it high.

  If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

      In Flanders fields.

 

As you are enjoying Memorial Day please remember to take a moment to remember those who have made the sacrifice of their lives in service to our great country.

and their families.