Joan of Arc & Memorial Day Origins

Today’s Word:

If other eyes grow dull, other hands slack, and other hearts cold in the solemn trust, ours shall keep it well as long as the light and warmth of life remain in us.

– from General John A. Logan’s Memorial Day Promulgation

On This Date…

john of arcOn May 30, 1431, Joan of Arc, the Maid of Orleans, France, and commander in the army, was burned at the stake at age 19. She was found guilty of witchcraft and heresy. She was imprisoned for a year before being put to death.

After her death, Joan’s mother and two brothers asked that her case be reopened, and Joan was found innocent of all charges in 1456. She was canonized in 1920. She is a patron of France, and of those wrongly accused.

On May 30, 1868, Memorial Day was established as a day to honor the 618,222 Americans who had died in the Civil War (1861-1865). The total number of all who have died in wars is 1,247,055, including 6,700 who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan. Since 1971, Memorial Day has been celebrated on the last Monday of May.

Inspired by Saint Joan of Arc and all those who have died in service of our country, we take heart in the words of the 1868 Memorial Day promulgation: “If other eyes grow dull, other hands slack, and other hearts cold in the solemn trust, ours shall keep it well as long as the light and warmth of life remain in us.”

– Father McLaughlin