Happy Memorial Day weekend everybody. It’s the unofficial start of summer. Barbecues will be fired up. Swimming pools will be opened. And the beaches will open. But do you know what the true meaning of Memorial Day is?
Memorial Day is a day to honor our fallen heroes throughout the years. It was first celebrated on May 5, 1866, one year after the Civil War ended. The American Civil War claimed so many lives that national cemeteries were required to bury the dead. There would be annual ceremonies over the fallen heroes’ graves and this was known as Decoration Day. But nobody knows where this tradition originated from.
General John A. Logan made a statement on May 5, 1866 about this holiday. He wanted to make the day of remembrance later in the month. He said:
“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 James Garfield spoke at Arlington National Cemetery where 5,000 participants decorated 20,000 Union and Confederate graves. Northern states and Southern states honored the fallen on different days until World War I.
However, there was a problem. Decoration Day only commemorated the fallen heroes of the Civil War. A national holiday was needed to commemorate all of the fallen heroes of all of the wars. In 1968, Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. It established Memorial Day as the last Monday of May to give federal employees a three-day weekend. The change became effective in 1971.
Please honor our fallen heroes this Memorial Day. They deserve our respect and gratitude as we honor their service. And please thank our current soldiers for their duty and service. They protect us every day and they should be honored too.
I got my new wheelchair today. Its red chrome sparkles like a new car with wheels clean as a newly paved road in the summer. The cushions are charcoal black. It has arm supports. I really love it and I have been waiting months for it. I was measured for it in August and didn’t get it until today.
OK I know that I have a small world and I know insurance is a good thing, but they take a really long time to process medical equipment and that sucks. I mean, what if this had been an emergency? Not that it was, but still, what would they do? Delay paying for it? Thankfully, my father and his girlfriend took out a loan to get it, but we are starting to have to pay out of pocket for our medical equipment. Is that fair? I don’t think so. I think that’s a part of American society that needs to be fixed, and fast. Otherwise, we will have a mess with insurance and we don’t deserve that. This is affecting me and I don’t like it. Our insurance should be covering medical equipment among other stuff. It should not be our responsibility to pay for these things. I hope that this system gets fixed and our society gets back on track.
Well, it’s here. I have officially finished the Spring semester and can relax. Yesterday morning, I got up, checked my grades. I had one class that I was really struggling with and I really wasn’t doing well on the tests and I thought that I was going to have to take it over. So I get to checking my grades at eight in the morning, and to my surprise, that was the first grade in there and I gave a sigh of relief. I passed the course! My adrenaline rushed down to zero as I woke Grandma up with the exciting news. I did alright this semester in my other classes and now I can relax.
I said to Grandma, “That was Grandpa helping me.”
“It certainly was,” she replied.
It was a tedious semester, but it’s all over. Now I will be getting ready to take a nice vacation.
I have one more day of school left. I’m so psyched because I have one more semester and then I graduate. I have grown so much during this time at St. Thomas Acquinas College, but I think I am officially ruling out the possibility of being a psychologist. I’m considering getting a job after graduating to get a feel for what I want to do. I wish I could get a law degree to become a paralegal because I really like the court environment but I feel that I wouldn’t qualify because I don’t have a law degree. Keeping an open mind, I will investigate deeper into social work.
And then, I initiated the Independent Living conversation with my grandmother. I am excited to start the place-hunting process, but I have a lot of questions roaming my mind like, “How will I get to and from work?”. I have a few resources that can help me, but does anyone have any suggestions about how to go about finding the right job in social work?