Memorial Day weekend is upon us, and while it will be the unofficial beginning of summer – marked with barbecues and special sales events, it is most importantly about honoring our American heroes who have died in our wars while serving our country.

Memorial Day was originally recognized as Decoration Day, to remember those who had fallen fighting the Civil War and to decorate their graves. Via the Memorial Day website:

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in service of the United States of America. Over two dozen cities and towns claim to be the birthplace of Memorial Day. While Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966, it’s difficult to prove conclusively the origins of the day.

Regardless of the exact date or location of its origins, one thing is clear – Memorial Day was borne out of the Civil War and a desire to honor our dead. It was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11. “The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land,” he proclaimed. The date of Decoration Day, as he called it, was chosen because it wasn’t the anniversary of any particular battle.

On the first Decoration Day, General James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery, and 5,000 participants decorated the graves of the 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers buried there.

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 observed in almost every state on the last Monday in May with Congressional passage of the National Holiday Act of 1971 (P.L. 90 – 363). This helped ensure a three day weekend for Federal holidays, though several southern states have an additional separate day for honoring the Confederate war dead: January 19th in Texas; April 26th in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi; May 10th in South Carolina; and June 3rd (Jefferson Davis’ birthday) in Louisiana and Tennessee.

In the year 2000, then President Bill Clinton issued a directive that a National Moment of Remembrance be observed at 3:00 pm on each Memorial Day (excerpt below):

In this time of unprecedented success and prosperity throughout our land, I ask that all Americans come together to recognize how fortunate we are to live in freedom and to observe a universal “National Moment of Remembrance” on each Memorial Day. This memorial observance represents a simple and unifying way to commemorate our history and honor the struggle to protect our freedoms.

Accordingly, I hereby direct all executive departments and agencies, in consultation with the White House Program for the National Moment of Remembrance (Program), to promote a “National Moment of Remembrance” to occur at 3 p.m. (local time) on each Memorial Day.

Americans are encouraged to pause their activities for one minute at that time to reflect on the sacrifices that have been made on our behalf by the brave men and women of our military. Suggestions from the Memorial Day website for this include a moment of silence or listening to “Taps”.

I also respectfully suggest that prayer is also appropriate for this observance.

Here is a Memorial Day prayer recommended by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops:

God of power and mercy,
you destroy war and put down earthly pride.
Banish violence from our midst and wipe away our tears,
that we may all deserve to be called your sons
and daughters.
Keep in your mercy those men and women
who have died in the cause of freedom
and bring them safely
into your kingdom of justice and peace.
We ask this though Jesus Christ our Lord.
R/. Amen

Here are two thoughtful prayers from the Archdiocese of Detroit:

Memorial Day Prayer

I. 

Heavenly Father, Today we remember and pay tribute to the men and women of the Armed Services who have died in the defense of our nation; from the days of the Revolution to these days in Iraq and Afghanistan. They paid the ultimate sacrifice for the freedoms we hold so dear.

In the words of Sacred Scripture we hear, “There is no greater love then this, than to lay down one’s life for a friend.” It is only by your grace and the love they have for you and this nation that gave them the strength to lay down their lives.

We beseech you O Lord, to receive these servants of peace into your loving embrace and grant them the eternal peace that surpasses all understanding.

We also remember the family members of these great heroes. They too suffer a great and painful sacrifice. Bestow upon them the blessings of your consolation and peace. May you ease their sadness as they continue on the road to serenity and hope.

To you we offer this prayer knowing you fulfill the heart’s desire of those who seek you with noble intentions. May our prayer for true and lasting peace be answered in accordance to your will and for the good of your sons and daughters. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, the King of Peace. Amen

II.

Heavenly Father,

On this Memorial Day, we pray for those who courageously laid down

their lives for the cause of freedom. May the example of their sacrifice

inspire in us the selfless love of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.

Bless the families of our fallen troops, and fill their homes and their

lives with your strength and peace.

In union with people of goodwill of every nation, embolden us to

answer the call to work for peace and justice, and thus, seek an end

to violence and conflict around the globe.

We pray through Christ our Lord.

Amen

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MJ Stevenson, AKA Zilla, is best known on the web as Zilla at MareZilla.com. She lives in a woodland shack near a creek, in one of those rural parts of New York State that nobody knows or cares about, with her family and a large pack of guardian companion animals. 

Some of the smartest people I’ve ever met were Princeton University engineering students.

I lived in Princeton, N.J. for almost exactly twenty-five years, but was not associated with Princeton University. Neither I nor my husband worked there, we are not alumni, and our son chose another University when he was going to college.

I did, however, audit over a dozen undergraduate classes under the Community Auditing Program. If you were a Princeton resident, you could attend the class lectures for $100/class as long as you sat in the back of the room and kept your mouth shut.

Like Victorian children, us auditors used to say, we were seen but not heard. Auditors had an opportunity to observe.

I audited two classes in the Engineering School, a school to which you have to apply specifically, independent from PU. That is, if you are a PU undergrad you can not just transfer to Engineering, you have to apply, and most likely start as a freshman.

The engineering undergrads are excited about their studies in a way other PU undergrads were not, at least the ones in the classes I audited. The engineers were unfailingly quick and sharp in class, unlike the vast majority of the PU undergrads. Give it a decade or so, but I would not be surprised if the next Tim Berners-Lee had been sitting a few rows in front of me in engineering class.

So after all that auditing, I always read with mild curiosity articles about PU admissions. This caught my attention: Asians With “Very Familiar Profiles”: How Princeton’s Admissions. Officers Talk About RaceFederal investigators highlighted comments “associated with Asian stereotypes” as part of a probe into allegations of racial bias at the Ivy League school. It all comes down to meeting “diversity” dictates,

But documents obtained by BuzzFeed News show Princeton’s admissions officers repeatedly wrote of Asian-American applicants as being difficult to differentiate, referring to them dismissively as having “very familiar profiles,” calling them “standard premeds,” or “difficult to pluck out.”
. . .
Of a Hispanic applicant, an admissions officer wrote, “Tough to see putting her ahead of others. No cultural flavor in app.” Of a black student, another said, “Very few African Americans with verbal scores like this.”

“No cultural flavor in app.” You can bust an academic gut and shine in extra-curricular activities, but PU won’t allow you the privilege of paying them $60,000/yr (thereby graduating a quarter million dollars in hock) because you lack what they deem “cultural flavor.”

Maybe J-Lo should apply.

At least J-Lo can afford it.

What it comes down to is, with affirmative action we are all reduced to a cultural-racial stereotype, no matter the talent or the skill of the individual.

Or, as I was told a couple of times over the years I lived in Princeton, “but you don’t even look Puerto Rican!” My “cultural flavor” must have been lacking.

Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes in U. S. and Latin America at Fausta’s blog.

Thomas Sowell covered the deleterious effects of affirmative action in his 2004 Affirmative Action Around the World: An Empirical Study.  I recommend you read it, if you haven’t already.

Yesterday the NY Daily News joined the list of groups pulling out of NY’s Puerto Rico Day Parade for honoring Oscar Lopez Rivera:

by lionizing López Rivera as the parade’s preeminent figure, organizers have inescapably compelled sponsors and participants to join in honoring a man convicted of abetting violent terror to achieve his aims.

As Police Commissioner Jimmy O’Neill aptly said in declining to participate: “I cannot support a man who is a co-founder of an organization that engaged in over 120 bombings.”

The growing number of people pulling out of the parade has angered NY City Counsel speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito who blames the “ultra right”

“A lot of the campaign putting pressure on the sponsors to withdraw, etc., is being manipulated and organized and orchestrated from an ultra-right wing element on the island,” she told reporters at City Hall Wednesday.

However I think she’s off target, If she really wants to blame someone rather than pointing to right wingers either in the US or on the Island of Puerto Rico I think the person most responsible was born on an Island thousands of miles away from NY or Puerto Rico.

Namely I think the person most responsible is the late Salman Abedi.

Before he decided to turn an Ariana Grande concert into a graveyard for teens and children it was still possible for some sponsors to count on the fading memory of the FALN bombings and Mr. Lopez-Rivera’s part in them to inoculate themselves from any possible outrage and to make sure that liberal Hispanics who voted overwhelmingly for the president who pardoned him, knew they were with them.

However,  despite the MSM valiant efforts to change the subject back to their crusade against Donald Trump as soon as possible, the images of teenage concert goers killed and maimed were broadcast all over the world,  The anguish of parents pleading for news of their daughter and then finding she was murdered in the blast could be felt by any mother or father of a child who could easily imagine themselves in that situation.

Suddenly the world was reminded of the consequences of that little old bombmaker Oscar Lopez Rivera actions and the cries of the relatives of the dead and those still alive that were maimed by those he led were not distant echos of the past but the horrifying present.

So perhaps Speaker Viverito should direct her anger not at folks on the Island or the various groups who have withdrawn their support but to the Manchester Bomber who didn’t bother to take into account the plans of people like her to normalize and honor murders before slaughtering their infidel enemies.

Closing thought:  I submit and suggest one can separate those companies, individuals and groups who are actually bothered by honoring those who mastermind mass murder and those who aren’t by noting who declined to march before the bombs in England went off.


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