Valor as defined by Merriam Webster means strength of mind or spirit that enables a person to encounter danger with firmness. The word “valor” defines our Veterans. Men and women who have served in the military are honored as they exhibited the absence of indecision as they faced life or death in battle. This is valor at the highest level.
On Memorial day, many simply view this as the beginning of summer. This was not the intended purpose of this weekend. According to History.com, in 1868, General John Logan declared May 30th as a day to recognize soldiers killed in the Civil war. After World War I, the United States changed this day to honor Veterans of all wars. All things change over time. In 1968, The Uniform Monday Holiday Act passed by Congress changed the date. We now recognize Memorial Day on the last Monday of May.
Reading the book, Race and Reunion by Professor David Blight (Yale), adds a different date and perspective. Mr. Blight identified an 1865 Memorial day event. Documented in The New York Tribune and The Charleston Courier, the Washington Race Course was significant in recognizing those lost in battle. After digging up and properly burying 260 Union soldiers, there was a Memorial event. 10,000 people gathered to properly “send off” the deceased. The 54th Massachusetts Regiment, other African American regiments, white missionaries, and even freed African Americans participated in the events of the day. Mr. Blight faced adversity as he validated his research. The events beyond the newspapers of the day are suppressed.
Recognizing valor is a part of our lives. Being dependable, steadfast, and honestly reliable is important. Our lives have perennial people that have served in the military. These people have shown valor in serving our country. As I think about life, there are a few plants that exhibit valor in our life gardens.
Perennials are dependable plants in our gardens. They thrive and multiply, ensuring that they stand firmly as placeholders in our gardens. Veterans are there for us always. Perennials are dependable and represent valor in the garden. Allow me to break down a few perennials that spell out valor.
V – Verbena Bonariensis
A – Achillea
L – Liatris
O – Oenethera
Perennials sometimes have annuals with similar names. These plants show up with such grandeur for one season. After one season, they fizzle out. Sometimes, they will sow seed. The valor shown by a perennial is reliable, noteworthy, and often priceless.
REFLECTIONS ON VALOR
My dad was such a big part of my life. Often sharing his experiences good and bad as the only African American in his platoon. Dad traveled to the Philippines snd even California to build military bases. He received an Honorable Discharge in 1961 to join the love of his life. Together, they raised us as a team. I am glad to have had a parent who served in the Armed Forces. The experiences my Dad shared have been quite valuable.
A good friend of mine reminded those on social media platforms of the proper words to say on this Veterans Day. It is not appropriate to say Happy Memorial Day, per Kim. She is a proud Veteran. I asked if she had words to share, “As a military brat, veteran, and spouse, Memorial Day has always been very important to me. It’s the day I honor my Uncle Herman and all the men and women who died in the war.”, Kim Roman, SSgt USAF 1977-1982. I am proud to know Kim and I appreciate her service.
Many people reading this know a Veteran who lost their lives in battle. Some Veterans came home with have battles continuing in their minds. There are some Veterans who are in need of mental health services. For several years, I rode with friends in Rolling Thunder. The emotion I experienced as I listened to stories of survival left quite the impression in my heart. These Veterans are proud to have survived. TheseVeterans continue to mourn their brothers and sisters who did not survive to rejoin the world they protected from danger.
This is the designated weekend where we collectively remember those who exhibited Valor. Remember they are the true perennials in our life gardens. We need perennial people who exhibit valor in our life gardens. A garden with perennials of valor is a great way to remember our Veterans.
I honor my Dad and all of the true Veterans this weekend. With a reflective spirit, I appreciation of their service. Are you honoring a true Veteran this weekend?
Teri, Cottage In The Courtby