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Monday, May 25, 2009

Flying in memory

Today is Memorial Day. It was originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service. It was was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.

The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war). It is now celebrated in almost every State on the last Monday in May (passed by Congress with the National Holiday Act of 1971 (P.L. 90 - 363) to ensure a three day weekend for Federal holidays).

I use this day to remember lots of things and to bury old emotions and hurts. I usually celebrate with a small group of sistergirlfriends. Last year, I went to the African American cemetery on Sullivan's Island. I might take a long run to the island and put flowers at the head stone.

Use this day as you see fit. Bury whatever you need to. Forget what you no longer need to hold on to (or at least make a gallant attempt to let it go). Honor yourself and your worth, because you deserve it.

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