Archive

Archive for the ‘holidays’ Category

This Weekend, Remember: Memorial Day Is NOT Veterans Day

Sunday, May 28, 2017, 20:33 EST Leave a comment

Memorial-Day

It happens every year. Someone, on TV or radio or just in conversation, calls on Americans to thank soldiers and veterans for their service during Memorial Day weekend. Some people will correct that error, or so they believe, saying that Memorial Day is a day to remember all deceased service members. I am of the opinion that every day is an appropriate day to acknowledge soldiers and veterans, dead or alive. And we have a holiday for specifically that recognition. It just isn’t in May.

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, here is the history of Memorial Day:

Three years after the Civil War ended, on May 5, 1868, the head of an organization of Union veterans — the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) — established Decoration Day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. Maj. Gen. John A. Logan declared that Decoration Day should be observed on May 30. It is believed that date was chosen because flowers would be in bloom all over the country. […]

By the end of the 19th century, Memorial Day ceremonies were being held on May 30 throughout the nation. State legislatures passed proclamations designating the day, and the Army and Navy adopted regulations for proper observance at their facilities.

It was not until after World War I, however, that the day was expanded to honor those who have died in all American wars. In 1971, Memorial Day was declared a national holiday by an act of Congress, though it is still often called Decoration Day. It was then also placed on the last Monday in May, as were some other federal holidays.

While Memorial Day is a uniquely American holiday, other nations observe a similar remembrance day. In fact, that’s what it’s called: Remembrance Day. Originally called Armistice Day, it takes place on November 11, the date the armistice ending hostilities in World War I went into effect. Remembrance Day is observed in the United Kingdom, Canada, and other nations that were part of the British empire during World War I. The United States originally observed Armistice Day as well but later changed it. Again, according to the VA:

Armistice Day was primarily a day set aside to honor veterans of World War I, but in 1954, after World War II had required the greatest mobilization of soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen in the Nation’s history; after American forces had fought aggression in Korea, the 83rd Congress, at the urging of the veterans service organizations, amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word “Armistice” and inserting in its place the word “Veterans.” With the approval of this legislation (Public Law 380) on June 1, 1954, November 11th became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.

And how you know that Memorial Day is a day set aside to honor not veterans in general, but those members of our armed forces who died in war. The next time someone gets it wrong, you can set them right.

Advertisements
Categories: history, holidays, military

The Christmas Story

Wednesday, December 25, 2013, 00:28 EST Leave a comment

The following is a post I have published here and elsewhere many times in the past. It is timeless. Merry Christmas to all.

StarIn those days, Caesar Augustus published a decree ordering a census of the whole Roman world. This first census took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria. All the people were instructed to go back to the towns of their birth to register. And so Joseph went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to “the city of David” — Bethlehem, in Judea, because Joseph was of the house and lineage of David; he went to register with Mary, his espoused wife, who was pregnant.

While they were there, the time came for her delivery. She gave birth to her firstborn, a son; she put him in a simple cloth wrapped like a receiving blanket, and laid him in a feeding trough for cattle, because there was no room for them at the inn.

There were shepherds in the area living in the fields and keeping night watch by turns over their flock. The angel of God appeared to them, and the glory of God shone around them; they were very much afraid.

The angel said to them, “You have nothing to fear! I come to proclaim good news to you—news of a great joy to be shared by the whole people. Today in David’s city, a savior—the Messiah—has been born to you. Let this be a sign to you; you’ll find an infant wrapped in a simple cloth, lying in a manger.

Suddenly, there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in high heaven!
And on earth, peace to those on whom God’s favor rests.”

When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go straight to Bethlehem and see this event that God has made known to us.” They hurried and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger; once they saw this, they reported what they had been told concerning the child. All who heard about it were astonished at the report given by the shepherds.

Mary treasured all these things and reflected on them in her heart. The shepherds went away glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, just as they had been told.

— Luke 2: 1-20
(Excerpted from The Inclusive Bible: The First Egalitarian Translation, Priests for Equality)

Categories: christmas, faith/religion

Free Christmas Music Alert

Thursday, December 5, 2013, 16:11 EST Leave a comment

Amazon.com 25 Days of Free

If it’s December, it must be time for Amazon.com’s 25 Days of Free. The web store releases a free Christmas song in digital (.mp3) format every day until and including Christmas Day. As with digital music available online, each track can be previewed so you know if it’s your cup of tea before you download it. But even if you get it and don’t like it, so what? It’s free.

To partake, go to 25 Days of Free and enjoy the music.

Categories: christmas, music

To All You Lovers Out There

Tuesday, February 14, 2012, 07:00 EST Leave a comment

Heart cookiesHappy Valentine’s Day. I hope those of you who have someone special with whom to celebrate enjoy yourselves. I can count on one hand the number of Valentine’s Days for which I’ve had a boyfriend, so it’s just another day for me, working all day and then doing nothing unusual at home this evening. Maybe I’ll pop in a DVD. Or wash my kitchen floor. Or something.

In 21st century culture, Valentine’s Day, at least as celebrated in North America, is a hyper-commercialized excuse for florists, greeting card companies, and chocolatiers to make a buck. But it’s also a good opportunity for people in love to remind each other of their feelings, which they can do sincerely at little or no cost. I have done so for the Love of My Life here, for his eyes only.

For the rest of you, I’m happy to provide a (very) little historical background, because I consider it my solemn duty as a blogger to edify my audience every so often. Saint Valentine was a third century Roman priest who, tradition states, aided jailed martyrs and was subsequently himself martyred for refusing to renounce his Christian faith. How he came to be associated with romantic couples is not certain, but the pairing of love and martyrdom gives new meaning to the phrase “I love you to death,” doesn’t it?

Categories: faith/religion, holidays, love

Breakfast

Tuesday, February 7, 2012, 09:53 EST Leave a comment
Categories: holidays, this and that

To My Readers

Tuesday, January 3, 2012, 00:04 EST Leave a comment

Happy New YearCompared to years past, this holiday season has brought much less blogging than usual here at Musings. Probably not coincidentally, visitor traffic has been down as well. We’re all busy doing other things, whether it’s traveling or hosting, working or vacationing, spending time with the family or taking advantage of relaxing time alone. My excuse is that I was busy at work during the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day—five days of work to do in four days, plus vacationing co-workers to cover for—and this past weekend was busy with social activity. I had intended to put up this post on New Year’s Eve. Oops.

I found a nice song that seems appropriate as a New Year’s greeting to my readers, most of whom I don’t know and will never meet. But I appreciate all of them. All of you. Click here to open the music player in a new window/tab.

Categories: holidays

Merry Christmas

Sunday, December 25, 2011, 01:02 EST Leave a comment

StarIn those days, Caesar Augustus published a decree ordering a census of the whole Roman world. This first census took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria. All the people were instructed to go back to the towns of their birth to register. And so Joseph went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to “the city of David” — Bethlehem, in Judea, because Joseph was of the house and lineage of David; he went to register with Mary, his espoused wife, who was pregnant.

While they were there, the time came for her delivery. She gave birth to her firstborn, a son; she put him in a simple cloth wrapped like a receiving blanket, and laid him in a feeding trough for cattle, because there was no room for them at the inn.

There were shepherds in the area living in the fields and keeping night watch by turns over their flock. The angel of God appeared to them, and the glory of God shone around them; they were very much afraid.

The angel said to them, “You have nothing to fear! I come to proclaim good news to you—news of a great joy to be shared by the whole people. Today in David’s city, a savior—the Messiah—has been born to you. Let this be a sign to you; you’ll find an infant wrapped in a simple cloth, lying in a manger.

Suddenly, there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in high heaven!
And on earth, peace to those on whom God’s favor rests.”

When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go straight to Bethlehem and see this event that God has made known to us.” They hurried and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger; once they saw this, they reported what they had been told concerning the child. All who heard about it were astonished at the report given by the shepherds.

Mary treasured all these things and reflected on them in her heart. The shepherds went away glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, just as they had been told.

— Luke 2: 1-20
(Excerpted from The Inclusive Bible: The First Egalitarian Translation, Priests for Equality)

Categories: christmas, faith/religion

If It’s December, It Must Be Time for…

Wednesday, December 21, 2011, 23:45 EST Leave a comment

…virtual mistletoe and a long distance dedication to the Love of My Life, who can click here to login.

The rest of you are welcome to avail yourselves of the virtual mistletoe by taking your tablets or laptops and holding them over the heads of those you’d really like to kiss.

Categories: christmas, love

So Where’s the Christmas Music?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011, 11:14 EST Leave a comment

Last year, I was all about sharing some of my favorite Christmas and seasonal songs. This year, I have some new stuff that I had intended to put up for your listening pleasure. But you know what they say about the best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men an’ Den Mothers. I’ve been busy. Don’t hate on me.

Fortunately, though, you can still partake of snippets of my personal Christmas music collection via last year’s Christmas Music Samplers. At the top of the page, just under the black title banner, are four tabs that look like this:

Menu buttons

Click on the “Music” tab and listen to as many as you want, with warm wishes from the Den Mother.

P.S. With the exception of one special post which I will put up tonight, blogging through the weekend will be light, if not nonexistent, while I finish my holiday preparations and then enjoy Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with my family, as I hope you do with yours.

Categories: christmas, music

The Christmas Tree, Sparklier

Monday, December 12, 2011, 23:39 EST Leave a comment
My Christmas tree, with tinsel

My Christmas tree, now with tinsel! (click to view larger)

It was a banner day for the Den Household’s Christmas decorating efforts. I found tinsel for sale at Wal-Mart and picked up a few boxes (two to use now, two to keep in reserve for next year). I like the effect, how the tinsel picks up the lights. Now this is my idea of the perfect Christmas tree.  All that’s left to do is await some custom extension cords being made for me by the Den Mother’s Father so I can light up my window candles.

Not only did I get my tree tinseled (can tinsel be a verb?) this evening, but I also found the old style C9 light strings online! These are what we used to decorate the exterior of our house, including the shrubs, when I was younger. I loved those lights—they were big and bright and bold—and have just never warmed up to the small lights and, after that, the LEDs that are prevalent now. But when my parents bought a much larger house before I started junior high school, the exterior lights went by the wayside. My house is small enough that I could probably pull it off next year. It will take some planning, but I have time to work it out.

Further contributing to my chipper mood is the fact that I finally found my Manhattan Transfer Christmas CD.  Turns out I had it in among my non-Christmas music.  It’s one of my favorites, being as I am a lover of Christmas music, jazz, and vocal harmony.  That makes 1,131 Christmas songs now on my BlackBerry, which is what I’ve been using for music since my mp3 player died.  (As an added bonus, the new BlackBerry battery I ordered online arrived in today’s mail, so I can get more than an hour out of my phone without having it plugged into a charger.)

All this is happening while the weather is getting colder.  That part I’m not so thrilled about.  But I really shouldn’t complain after the mild autumn we’ve had.

Christmas is only 13 days away, and despite some current personal challenges, I think I’m finally getting into the spirit.

Categories: christmas