As we slip into a pair of shorts and get the burgers ready for the grill, it could be easy to forget that Memorial Day is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation’s service.

Take a moment to remember the many men and women who have protected and served us, our country and the freedom we cherish.

I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours, to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of Freedom.

Abraham Lincoln, November 1864

While you’re thinking about the meaning of this day, you might be interested to know that the association to the color of Memorial Day goes beyond just being part of the red, white and blue of the American flag. The color red and the poppy symbolize “remembrance of those that died in war”

Sheba_Also 43,000 photos [CC BY-SA 2.0 ]

This association came out of one the most memorable poems ever written about war. It is a poem called "In Flanders Fields" written by Lt. Col. John McCrae. The poppies referred to in the poem grew in profusion in Flanders in the disturbed earth of the battlefields and cemeteries where war casualties were buried.

In Flanders Fields a poem by John McCray [Public Domain]

This association came out of one the most memorable poems ever written about war. It is a poem called "In Flanders Fields" by Lt. Col. John McCrae. The poppies referred to in the poem grew in profusion in Flanders in the disturbed earth of the battlefields and cemeteries where war casualties were buried.

A few years ago, I learned that my well intentioned, "Thank you for your service" was not the right sentiment for Memorial Day.

“Memorial Day is essentially the one day that we should remember all veterans that are no longer with us, whether that is from combat, everyday accidents or just the natural course of life with people dying of old age,” said Chris Wilson, VP of major accounts at DiversityInc. “You ‘memorialize’ those that decided to sign a contract to be a part of something that would help the American people by joining the American military.”

And if you think that that Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day came about after WWI you might be surprised to learn that it started shortly after the Civil War. Find out more at History of Memorial Day.


Feature Image Credit: Remember [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons 

Read Time: 3 min
  • Cheryl Freeman says:

    I think the 2 colors of red and blue make purple, hardly anyone understands the importance of that.

  • Cassandra says:

    I feel like since we wear red, white, and blue for the fourth of July I wear red and white for memorial day to signify the poppies and peace.

    • Kate Smith says:

      Me, too, Cassandra. I focus on red rather than red and blue with white for Memorial Day.

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