Posted by Outer Banks Blue

Memory Monday 5/27/13

Memorial Day Remembrance

It is a safe bet that most of us would rather lounge on the beach, fire up the grill in the back yard or enjoy a baseball game than dwell on the somber origins of Memorial Day.   Living on the Outer Banks, with one of the largest concentrations of military in the world within 70 miles in Norfolk, VA, we locals constantly are reminded of the sacrifices of war as the evening news seems all too filled with reports of casualties overseas.

Regardless of where you live a time of quiet reflection shouldn't be a burden, particularly given the sacrifices this day is meant to honor.

In reading through the Internet today I learned that the first "Memorial day" was actually called "Decoration Day" and was celebrated in 1868 in Arlington National Cemetery to commemorate those killed in the Civil War.  Major General John Logan, the leader of a veterans group that started the original Decoration Day, urged people to decorate graves with "the choicest flowers of springtime." Today has evolved into an annual day for honoring all American war dead and the flowers have been replaced with another tradition of the day - the flying of the stars and stripes.

Each Thursday prior to Memorial Day soldiers painstakingly put a small american flag on each plot at Arlington.   Last year on a class trip for my 8th grade daughter we were able to see first hand the reverence that today's soldiers pay to their predecessors during this exercise.  It is an impressive experience to see our military in action in this way.

Nearly everyone knows someone who knows someone whose relative has been a victim of war.  A grandfather, a cousin, a neighbor's son, a relative of a classmate.  Every thought of the soldier's passing is grief filled in that the possibilities that lay ahead for that person's life never came true.

It is difficult for those of us in the resort beach rental business to turn away those that would rather spend time at the beach than to visit a cemetery, but we as Americans should take the time today to at least pause and reflect on the fallen heroes of our country.

I read today that one thing we can all do to honor the dead is to honor the living - those who survived war, but carry in their hearts memories of their fallen compatriots.

If you come across a veteran take a moment to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice, and thank the living hero you meet and them for their effort on our behalf to protect our freedom.

On behalf of all of us at Outer Banks Blue I extend a heartfelt thank you to all who have served, and who continue to serve this great country.

All the best from the beach!

By Tim Cafferty, President, Outer Banks Blue Realty Services

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