Why Memorial Day in May?

Dear Reader:

Last Thursday as I left Daniel Island after visiting Ben… the roads leading in and off the island were lined with American flags in preparation for Memorial Day. Thanks to the island’s active Exchange Club the displays of history, remembrance, and gratitude line the small community’s streets and its ” Field of Honor ” dedicated to honoring hometown heroes.

Around 650 flags are put out on display… the club raises money by selling flags for residents for $30 as well as offering families a chance to buy ” honor banners” hung from light poles to remember first responders and service members. The money goes as donations to various community causes.

Flag etiquette is also taught and encouraged. The group wants to educate its residents on the protocol and ethics of caring for the Star -Spangled Banner. One rule that is often ignored is to make sure a worn flag is not displayed. It must be disposed of properly.

One member of the Exchange Club came up with an idea to make flag disposal easy on residents. He purchased an old newspaper klosk for people to leave their tattered and worn flags in . He then takes them to be ceremoniously burned at a crematorium.

Personally I love the reason why John Logan , a veteran of the Civil War, chose May 30 to honor fallen comrades for ” Decoration Day” ( original name for Memorial Day-decorating gravesites to honor fallen soldiers.) It was simply because, he said, flowers would be in full bloom during this time.

As a gardener May is the most beautiful month of all for flowering plants of every kind… before long the hot summer sun will do its damage but in May hope is alive and thriving!

So until tomorrow…today on this unofficial start of the summer season… let’s literally take a minute at 3:00 PM to remember a newer tradition -the national moment of silence. Americans are asked to pause for one minute to pay tribute to America’s fallen soldiers. ( This became official after the passage of the National Moment of Remembrance Act in 2000)

Today is my favorite day-Winnie the Pooh

Look at my hibiscus making a comeback from getting nibbled by the deer last month… way to go Hibiscus!

And boy… do I have sweet-smelling gardens walking down the garden path… two scents competing-the Confederate Jasmine and finally my gardenias just started blooming after last Friday’s heavy rains.

Happy Memorial Day! Have fun and celebrate but do pause to remember the true reason behind Memorial Day! Gratitude to honor fallen soldiers for our freedom to gather today!

About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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