Posts Tagged ‘memorial day’

Remembrance-Wall2 copy

Traditional observance of Memorial day has diminished over the years. Many Americans nowadays have forgotten the meaning and traditions of Memorial Day. At many cemeteries, the graves of the fallen are increasingly ignored, neglected. Most people no longer remember the proper flag etiquette for the day. While there are towns and cities that still hold Memorial Day parades, many have not held a parade in decades. Some people think the day is for honoring any and all dead, and not just those fallen in service to our country.

Around 1915, Moina Michael first conceived of an idea to wear red poppies on Memorial day in honor of those who died serving the nation during war.  She was the first to wear one, and sold poppies to her friends and co-workers with the money going to benefit servicemen in need.  Inspired by a poem “In Flanders Fields”, she wrote the following poem.

We cherish too, the Poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led,
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies.

Later a Madam Guerin from France was visiting the United States and learned of this new custom started by Ms. Michael and when she returned to France, made artificial red poppies to raise money for war orphaned children and widowed women. This tradition spread to other countries. In 1921, the Franco-American Children’s League sold poppies nationally to benefit war orphans of France and Belgium. The League disbanded a year later and Madam Guerin approached the VFW for help. Shortly before Memorial Day in 1922 the VFW became the first veterans’ organization to nationally sell poppies. Two years later their “Buddy” Poppy program was selling artificial poppies made by disabled veterans. In 1948 the US Post Office honored Ms Michael for her role in founding the National Poppy movement by issuing a red 3 cent postage stamp with her likeness on it.

A war veteran from the shores of Normandy and the Phillipines, my dad has since passed, but a Memorial Day does not go by without remembering him holding my hand as a young child and stopping before a disabled veteran at a local market, where he would donate some money in exchange for a red poppy, in remembrance of those who have fallen in the line of duty.

“We come, not to mourn our dead soldiers, but to praise them”.  – Francis A. Walker

To those who died securing peace and freedom; To those who served in conflict to protect our land, and sacrificed their dreams of the day to preserve the hope of our nation keeping America the land of the free for over two centuries we owe our thanks and our honor. It is important to not only recognize their service but to respect their devotion to duty and to ensure that the purpose for which they fought will never be forgotten.

From the soldiers who fought bravely during the American Revolution to the men and women of today’s Armed Forces, America’s fighting forces, have responded bravely to this nation’s call to duty. Both on the battlefield and in their assurance of readiness, members of the nation’s military remain bound to their duty.  For more than 200 years, America’s Armed Forces have been the surest  guarantee that Freedom will continue to ring across this land …

Our prayers go out this Memorial Day to one of Riverside’s finest, RPD Officer Ryan Bonaminio and to his family.  Ryan went out to doing the right thing, the right thing was to maintain the safety and security of our community, and that he did.

After high school, Ryan joined the United States Army. He completed his Army Basic training and Military Police training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. Ryan served two tours in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He was a military police officer with the 314th Military Police and his assignments included serving in Umm Qasr, Kuwait City, Bagdad, and Mosuc. He also served in the 282nd Base Support Battalion in Hohenfels, Germany. Officer Bonaminio served with honor and distinction. He was highly praised by his peers and superiors. He earned several medals including the Army Commendation Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Army Reserve Mobilization Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Army Reserve Overseas Training Ribbon, Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal, and Expert Qualification Badge- 9mm pistol.

Ryan transitioned from military service to law enforcement with the Riverside Police Department on July 7, 2006. He continued his commitment to the US Army Reserves. According to his US Army Military Police Reserve Sergeant Tamara Colosimo, “Ryan has always done what is morally right. He has integrity in everything that he does. Ryan would make a great police officer.”

Riverside Police Department Chief of Police Sergio Diaz stated, “Officer Ryan Bonaminio’s tragic death is a reminder to all of us in the law enforcement family that the supreme sacrifice of our service is also a cost borne by our loved ones, our families, and our community”.

THE PRESS ENTERPRISE’S DAN BERSTEIN’S ARTICLE ON MEMORIAL DAY.

Homage to fallen heroes is not an invention of our days. History beams with examples how various nations in various ages have honored their patriot dead. It was a custom established by the laws of Athens that the obsequies of those who had fallen for their country in battle should be performed in the most public and solemn manner. The bones of the slain were gathered on the plains or mountains, and were brought in solemn procession to the city. There, in tents, they were guarded in state, and received the votive offerings of friends and relatives, such as flowers, weapons, and precious ornaments, which were brought as tributes of affection and evidence of the proper appreciation of their services. … Where such a custom existed, it is not to be marveled at that patriotism and love of country burned in every Grecian breast with a flame which a thousand years of oppression and tyranny were unable to crush out. … Can we be surprised that in such hearts the memory of Thermopylae and Marathon was always fresh? And shall we, the freest of all nations, in our paradise of liberty feel less patriotic fire in our breasts … ? Shall we neglect the graves of those who sacrificed their lives to defend the palladium of our liberty, to perpetuate our national unity, and shield our rights forever? … This Memorial Day, on which we decorate their graves with the tokens of love and affection, is no idle ceremony with us, to pass away an hour; but it brings back to our minds in all their vividness the fearful conflicts of that terrible war in which they fell as victims. … Let us , then, all unite in the solemn feelings of the hour, and tender with our flowers the warmest sympathies of our souls! Let us revive our patriotism and love of country by this act, and strengthen our loyalty by the example of the noble dead around us….    – Major General John Logan, On May 30, 1870, Delivered upon the occasion of the Decoration of Union Soldiers’ Graves at the National Cemetery, Arlington, VA

UPDATE: 06/06/12: CALIFORNIA JURY URGES DEATH FOR OFFICER’S KILLER…”HE’S NOT IN THE DIRT YET,” THE SLAIN OFFICER’S FATHER, JOE BONAMINIO, SAID LATER AT A NEWS CONFERENCE OUTSIDE THE COURT.