What makes Memorial Day memorable to you? Often we see Memorial Day as a kick-off for the summer season of picnics, parades, family gatherings, gardening and other memorable events. But, it’s about much more than that.
Five members of the Chippewa Falls Patriotic Council joined students, faculty, and staff at a Memorial Day Ceremony held at Globe University-Eau Claire. We were moved by the National Anthem sung, in uniform, by student Shayna McIlquham. We were rewarded with a memorable three gun salute to the fallen soldiers. Amanda Ackmann was moved to tears following taps played by McDonnell High School Freshman, Frank Rineck, as she remembered taps being played at her beloved aunt’s funeral.
Retired Veteran John Nebelsiek reminded us of the history and protocol of Memorial Day:
- It is a day to remember the men and women who died while serving in the Armed Forces.
- It originated after the Civil War to commemorate the soldiers who died in the Civil war.
- Folk lore says that May 30 was chosen because it was not the anniversary of a battle.
- It is not to be confused with Veterans Day which celebrates the service of military veterans living or dead.
- The flag is lowered to half mast until noon to remember the more than one million men and women who have given their lives for our country.
- The flag is raised by the living to full staff for the rest of the day to resolve to rise up and continue the fight for liberty and justice for all.
The day will be particularly memorable for McIlquham, who was nominated by her Army unit to sing the National Anthem at the Milwaukee Brewers game on Memorial Day. Shayna is excited about the opportunity. She notes that she may find the experience a bit “nerve wracking” if it is nationally televised, though she is no stranger to performing as she has been singing since she could walk and participated in choirs throughout her high school career. She also sang the National Anthem at the start of many Chippewa Falls High School sporting events.
How will you make the day memorable? Whatever your plans, make a salute to our fallen soldiers and to the freedom they have provided part of your memory-making this Memorial Day!