Looking back on what was written last year …I felt the message should once again be put forth …so with you all I share…
I sat wrote on this Memorial Day Weekend 2015, I was guided to write something a little different from the norm. First however I will begin with the traditional and share what Memorial Day is and how it all began.
Originally called Decoration Day and the idea was established in 1868 and born due to the horrific death tolls resulting from the Civil War and a desire to honor our dead.
“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.” ~ General John Logan, National Commander of the Grand Army of the Republic. The date of Decoration Day, as he called it, was chosen because it was NOT an anniversary of any particular battle.
So it became a day of observance for those who lost their lives here in a country that lay divided and torn from a war, a war that pitted family against family, a war that drenched the soil with the blood of many.
Today it is observed in almost every state on the last Monday in May ensuring 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, the stain remaining in a split that remains still, North and South, the United States.
I honor all those that have fought for this country and what it is supposed to stand for, Freedom and Honor, Unity and Grace. But I take it a step further and honor those that walked before us and fought many battles on the soil we all now stand on, build our homes, our lives and communities, our Ancestors from all nations that helped to build this country. Ancestors that without their sacrifices we would not be here today.
I honor the immigrants that came through Ellis Island bringing with them the skills that built our country. Brick layers, wood carvers, creative people, the thinkers, the entrepreneurs, the men, women and children that did the hard work, work that most of us today would not even dream of having to do. That fought battles of violence every day just to survive. The Irish, the Polish, The Italian, the German and oh so many more, leaving their own families and homelands due to discrimination and war, to the many that were killed, the fact you were treated less than human, I remember and honor them all.
I honor my Ancestors, the Original People, the Native People that honored our lands and lived in balance until they too were ravaged by wars and violence. To the many that were killed, the fact they were treated less than human, I remember and honor them all. I honor them more for pushing us to be better in the world today, to honor where we came from and to never forget the people that are one with the Great Mother Earth, their teachings and keeping that as the foundation for life.
I honor the Chinese mine workers who came and worked the mines out in the western states and became a forgotten story in history. The violence they endured because they did not speak English, because their skin was a different color, their sacrifice in order to help forge this country into its future. To the many that were killed, the fact they were treated less than human, I remember and honor them all
I honor the Africans that were taken from their homelands and their families brought to this soil as slaves and also to be treated less than human. Many names lost in history their lives unable to be recognized individually, to the many that were killed, the fact they were treated less than human, I remember and honor them all.
I honor the Japanese Americans that were outcast during the war and sent to camps, their lives torn apart and destroyed. All because they came to America to build a better life for themselves and their families, to the many that were killed, the fact you were treated less than human, I remember and honor them all.
To all the People that have come here and sacrificed to build this country in order to make a better life , to the many that were killed, the fact they too were treated less than human, I remember and honor them all.
So today, I ask that you all take a moment from your day as you remember loved ones that have fallen in conflict, that you take another moment to add to it all the countless other people that have done the same here on our own lands, in our own country. While you are doing that add prayer that we all learn from what history shows us all…that no matter what color our skin is, it took Warriors of the Rainbow to get us to this place we stand today in our own lives, countless sacrifices that go far back in this country’s history.
And if we do nothing else today… honor that … think of that…and be thankful for what it has allowed us to be, have and live today. Then take it a step further and realize that each of us has the ability to bring about change… to set aside hate, bigotry, racial discrimination, and judgment. To become better people, better humans, to honor what has been provided to us by our Ancestors. Make their sacrifices count… for if they were alive today, I feel many would shed tears that many things still have not changed.
“I am Dedicated to Educating and sharing the Native culture with the World. It is not enough merely to teach the ways of our Elders. We must honor those traditions by sharing and educating the World. Inspiring others …Inspiring our Youth. Through the Music… the Arts…the stories…”
“Join Me as I continue the Sacred Hoop Project into this Year 2016…the year of Truths!”
James Horner and the Boys choir of Harlem Closing song from “Glory” available on Itunes