Memorial Day Created By Women

by Linda Franklin

Memorial Day Created By Women Linda Franklin Shining Service WorldwideMuch of women’s history is missing from our public story.  Did you know that women were almost entirely responsible for the recognition of Memorial Day?  I didn’t.

Memorial Day originated during the Civil War and until recently, the day focused on the terrible war between the states that, at tremendous human cost, ended slavery. Just weeks after the Civil War ended in April 1865, Ellen Call Long organized a women’s memorial society to reconcile embittered enemies.

Usually named some variant of “women’s relief society,” groups sprang up in both the North and South that not only memorialized the dead, but also cared for the war’s disabled and its widows and orphans. On June 22, 1865, women adopted these profound, forgiving, and future-oriented resolutions.

The document read in part: The object of this meeting is to initiate a Memorial Association…that shall perpetuate in an honorable manner the memory of the gallant dead We are done with the [Confederate] cause…and are willing to do all that women can do to stem the tide of bitterness…and angry feelings… We will practice and teach forbearance and patience, which must finally bring peace and justice.

Wouldn’t it be a different world if all people could emulate Ellen Call Long.  I think it’s up to the women to make that happen.

Shining Service Worldwide is a charitable organization that supports all women who are part of the military family.  Our goal is successful re-integration to civilian life.


Female Vets Worry – Will They Need Me Now?

By Al Detres  

Female Vets Worry - Will They Need Me Now? Al Detres Shining Service WorldwideOne of the scariest things about returning home after a lengthy time away is the thought that since your family survived without you, why and how will they need you when you come back?

There are a couple of things to keep in mind here. First of all, whether they just barely survived by eating fast food and turning yesterday’s shirts inside out to wear another day or actually thrived while you were gone.  You need to know that you were missed. No matter how they got by without you, there is nobody in the world who can love the way you love your family.

Step one is to let them know that you and your love are back for them.

Secondly, your role may have changed and you need to give yourself some time to find out where you now will fit in. This can be a freeing experience.  Before you left, the most important thing that you may have done was cook and clean. Since you weren’t there to do that, it was still done, which means that they can do those things (not as well as you, of course), but that may free up your time to spend helping with homework or playing games with them.

The best way to find out how you fit in now that you are back home may be to quietly watch how your family interacts and look for opportunities to enhance that interaction, without interfering or trying to change things.

Pray for the insight and opportunity to see and fill those areas of need that aren’t being filled. Ask how you can help; share your ideas that you have learned while abroad. Make yourself available and be open to whatever role you will now fill. The greatest commodity that you can give to your family, no matter how long you were away – is you!

Al Detres is a father of four and a Christian Minister in Oregon who has a son currently serving in the US Army.

Shining Service Worldwide is a charitable organization that supports all women who are part of the military family.  Our goal is successful re-integration to civilian life.