Friday, May 22, 2009

". . . we can not dedicate ~ we can not consecrate ~ we can not hallow ~ this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract." ~ Abraham Lincoln

Memorial Day has its roots in the post-Civil War era, when individual towns started to observe Decoration Day. People "decorated" the graves of Union and Confederate soliders with flowers. The "Birthplace of Memorial Day" is Waterloo Village, New York -- it is credited with the first Decoration Day observance on May 5, 1866. Most of us know Decoration Day, now called Memorial Day, as a national holiday observed on the last Monday in May.

In his address at Gettysburg, President Lincoln honors soldiers as having "consecrated" the land through their ultimate sacrifice. To consecrate -- to sanctify, to make holy.

In the modern interpretation of Memorial Day, the concept of "consecration" extends to all U.S. soldiers who fought in any war. The men and women who have given their lives for our country have indeed blessed us, the living, with a way of life that is defined by freedom.

I grew up on the New Jersey Shore and so, today marks the start of beach season. Yay! (Tonight, every bar on the Jersey Coast will be packed to the gills -- which exit on the turnpike? Every exit.) The scent of tanning lotion is in the air. Bring on the fun -- let's picnic, barbeque, swim, play tennis, surf, travel, garden, clean our closets, relax and . . . stitch.

Here in New York City, it's Fleet Week. The Yankees are home, playing at the new Yankee Stadium. (We're on a 9-game winning streak!) The Town is abuzz with visitors and us locals who love long weekends in the city.

This weekend of leisure is made possible by the same sacrifices that Lincoln described at Gettysburg. I'll make sure to take time on Monday, to honor the servicemen and servicewomen who gave their lives -- in order to preserve our way of life.

Have a good Memorial Day Weekend!


  1. Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

  2. Yes indeed! Sour Apple Martinis all 'round.

  3. I'm mixing up some, as we speak. Sour Apple Martinis rule!

  4. I like this recipe . . .

    for Sour Apple Martinis.

  5. And let us pause at 3 PM today, Memorial Day, to remember the men and women who have served our country.