Memorial Day is seen as the unofficial start of summer and has become synonymous with trips to the beach and backyard barbecues. Often overlooked is the real reason behind the holiday – honoring the nation’s fallen service members.
With that in mind, here are some interesting facts about Memorial Day:
Originally called Decoration Day, Memorial Day began as an effort to honor Union soldiers who died during the Civil War. Union General John A. Logan called for the first nationwide Decoration Day on May 30, 1868, which was marked by decorating the graves of fallen soldiers with flowers and flags. Over time, it became known as Memorial Day. In 1971, federal law changed the observance of the holiday to the last Monday in May and extended the honor to all soldiers who have died in American wars.
Congress passed a law in December of 2000 requiring Americans to pause at 3 p.m.. local time on Memorial Day to remember and honor the fallen.
This is why you should wear a poppy on Memorial Day: Canadian Lt. Col. John McCrae, who served as a surgeon for an Allied artillery unit during World War I, spotted the bright red flowers poking through battlefields in France and Flanders in 1915. That inspired him to write the poem, “In Flanders Field.” Later that year, Georgia teacher and volunteer war worker, Moina Michael, read the poem and wrote her own, “We Shall Keep the Faith” to urge making the poppy a tribute to those who have died in wartime.
The Hamel VFW, the City of Plymouth and PBYR are very pleased with the cooperation from all partnering organizations to make this happen. It is great to see the cooperation displayed in such a quality program!
This year we will have community participation which includes the VFW, Armstrong High School, Wayzata High School, Plymouth Police Explorers, a Military Chaplain and an excellent and highly qualified speaker. Please try to attend.
In May 2019, The Plymouth Lions donated $5,000 to PBYR. The Plymouth Lion’s trust and support has been critical to PBYR’s success since 2012. Clearly, without their support and trust, PBYR could not have done all the positive and helpful projects to date. We sincerely thank the Plymouth Lions and appreciate their efforts to help and improve our community.
PBYR’s most recent project was a $10,000 grant to the Heinzen-Ditter VFW that was used to help bring their restrooms up to the American Disability Act (ADA) requirements. The Veterans that come to the VFW are often elderly and many have disabilities, mobility problems and service related injuries that impact their easy use of the restrooms, hence this project will serve Veterans for many years in the future in a very helpful and positive way. Hug a Plymouth Lion!
Gary Goldetsky, Psy.D, LP, President, Plymouth Beyond the Yellow Ribbon
Plymouth, PBYR and Heinzen-Ditter VFW will have a Memorial Day Program at the Plymouth Veteran’s Memorial on May 24, 2019 at 11 AM.
More details to follow shortly.