A day in which we celebrate those who have served.
Memorial Day History
Memorial Day became an official National Holiday in 1971. Memorial Day was celebrated for over 100 years, but was not declared a National Holiday until 1971.
In 1865 Freedmen (freed slaves) celebrated in Charleston, South Carolina at the Washington Race Course, a temporary Confederate prison camp and mass grave for Union soldiers. It was the nation’s first Memorial Day.
Civil War General John Logan started Memorial Day in 1868, and it was called Decoration Day. General John Logan chose May 30th because it was a date that had no civil war battles, and a likely time for flowers bloom. He started the holiday as a way to collaborate between the North and the South after the Civil War.
Memorial Day is now a federal holiday observed on the last Monday of May – this year is May 31, 2010.
Ultimately life is not about the big election, speech, battle or moment. It is about getting up every day and offering this world small, consistent acts of kindness, love and decency”
~ Cory Booker, New Jersey mayor
From the full moon of Buddha’s Birthday to Memorial Day today, perhaps it is a good time to reflect, to connect, give thanks and reconnect to oneself and others…
Here is one of my favourite prayers dedicated to the suffering of all people.
May all beings everywhere, Plagued by sufferings of body and mind, Obtain an ocean of happiness and joy By virtue of my merits.
May no living creature suffer, Commit evil or ever fall ill. May no one be afraid or belittled, With a mind weighed down by depression.
May the naked find clothing, The hungry find food.
May the thirsty find water And delicious drinks.
May the poor find wealth, Those weak with sorrow find joy. May the forlorn find hope, Constant happiness and prosperity.
May there be timely rains And bountiful harvests. May all medicines be effective And wholesome prayers bear fruit.
May all who are sick and ill Quickly be freed from ailments. Whatever diseases in the world, May they never occur again.
May the frightened cease to be afraid And those bound be freed. May the powerless find power And may people think of benefiting each other.
~ Precept Prayer Shantideva
revised by H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama
May You Prosper in the Four Blessings of
Old Age, Beauty, Happiness and Strength.