Honoring and remembering those who died in service

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TWH – Today the United States celebrates Memorial Day to honor those members of the U.S. Armed Forces who died in service to their country.

Originally known as Decoration Day due to people visiting the graves of fallen soldiers to pay their respects and “decorate” the gravesites by leaving flowers or other remembrances, Memorial Day traces its beginnings to shortly after the Civil War in 1868. It did not become a federal holiday until 1971, when Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act and officially established the last Monday in May as Memorial Day.

Circle Sanctuary maintains a list of Pagans who have died while in military service: Pagan War Dead. They are continually seeking to update their list of those who have died in service and request that anyone who has names that should be added to the list contact them.

In her post on Memorial Day, Rev. Selena Fox commented on her gratitude to those who have died while serving in the military. She suggested expressing support for the families and friends grieving their deaths of the dead, and ringing a bell and speaking names of the Military Pagan Dead.

Circle Sanctuary spearheaded the effort, Veteran Pentacle Quest, to have the pentacle recognized by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) as a religious symbol so it could be included as an option for government-issued headstones, grave markers, and memorial plaques.

The Bush administration finally approved the use of the pentacle in 2007, after ten years of the concerted effort by Circle Sanctuary, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and other organizations. Over 200 memorial markers bearing the pentacle since then have been issued by the VA for use in private and public cemeteries.

TWH honors those who have given their lives in service to their country.

What is remembered, lives.

Arlington National Cemetery wrote:

In honor of Memorial Day, Arlington National Cemetery is proud to launch the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Centennial Commemoration Lecture Series.

Composed of twelve episodes, this virtual lecture series makes the interpretive talks presented during the November 9-10, 2021, Tomb Centennial events accessible to the public in a new digital format. This series brings together experts from Arlington National Cemetery and across the federal government to explore the history and meanings of the Tomb.

Three episodes will be released each Monday through June 20. The first three episodes are available now:

Silence and Respect: A History of the Tomb Guards
Women, Mothers, and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
Leadership, the Lost Battalion, and the Burden of Heroism

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier [Arlington National Cemetery via Facebook]

XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg  shared:

HONOR THE FALLEN

“As you have a moment to rest on this Memorial Day, take some time to reflect, honor and remember the military personnel who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our Nation.”

XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg [via Facebook]

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs wrote:

Memorial Day is a time to remember and honor all military personnel who died serving in the U.S. armed forces. Today, take a moment to think of the fallen service members who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our rights and freedoms as Americans.

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs – Memorial Day [via Facebook]

The Covenant of the Goddess wrote “We honor and remember. ”

[via Covenant of the Goddess]

Musician Celia T. Farran shared a moving public message, “On this Memorial Day,  I want to take a moment to honor the life of Sgt. Patrick Dana Stewart.  His life and his death changed *my* life and the lives of many others dramatically.  I never knew him.  But his story touched me in a way that caused me to step away from the computer (I had just read the news feed from Circle Sanctuary about him being denied his request for his emblem of belief on his grave marker) and pick up my guitar.  In 2006 I wrote “Symbol” and debuted it at PSG in Ohio. I had NO idea how important this issue was or how many people were experiencing discrimination due to their Pagan or Wiccan beliefs. I just KNEW I had to write this song. “Symbol” soon became known as ‘The Anthem of the Pentacle Quest’.”

Farran wrote “After countless hours logged by dedicated individuals & organizations on April 23rd, 2007 the Pentacle was approved as an emblem of belief on the grave markers of fallen soldiers. What an honor to be a part of making history in this way. Since the Pentacle has been approved the Thor’s Hammer and the Awen Symbol have also been approved.  In a world that sometimes feels out of control…this feels like progress.  Thank you to all who have supported me in supporting matters that make a difference.”

Farran added, “Thank you Patrick Dana Stewart for your service.  And Thank You to ALL Warriors (seen and unseen) who have sacrificed selflessly in service to humanity.  Blessed Be.”


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