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May 23, 2014

I.   On Memorial Day, Remember That Some Gave All
II.  Social Security Offers Help to Wounded Warriors

Dear Mayor:

I.  On Memorial Day, Remember That Some Gave All
On Monday, May 26, we will honor the memories of all who died in service to our Nation. Originally a local observance, over two dozen cities and towns claim to be the birthplace of Memorial Day. About its origins, one thing is clear – Memorial Day was borne out of the desire to honor our Civil War dead. It was officially proclaimed on May 5, 1868, by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, who ordered, “The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land.” The date of Decoration Day, as he called it, was chosen because it wasn’t the anniversary of any particular battle.

The preferred name for the commemoration gradually changed from "Decoration Day" to "Memorial Day", which was first used in 1882. It did not become more common until after World War II, and was not declared the official name by Federal law until 1967. Memorial Day is not to be confused with Veterans’ Day. Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving, while Veterans Day celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans.

In traditional observance, the flag of the United States is raised briskly to the top of the staff and then solemnly lowered to the half-staff position, where it remains only until noon. It is then raised to full-staff for the remainder of the day. The half-staff position remembers the more than one million men and women who gave their lives in service of their country. At noon, the memory of their service is raised by the living, who should resolve not to let their sacrifice be in vain, but to rise up in their stead and continue the fight for liberty and justice for all.

To help remind us all of the true meaning of Memorial Day, the “National Moment of Remembrance” resolution was passed in December, 2000. It asks that at 3 p.m. local time all Americans “voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a Moment of Remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence or listening to Taps.”


II. Social Security Offers Help to Wounded Warriors
This year, we’ve been asked to remind you that the folks at the Social Security Administration honor the heroism and courage of our military service members and mourn for those who have given their lives in defense of freedom. But the Social Security Administration knows, and we agree, that it is also important to recognize those service members who are still with us today, especially those who have been wounded. You can learn about how Social Security expedites disability benefits for wounded warriors at

The effect of military service can be profound and lasting. There are a number of financial, social, and health issues that result from military service. Some Wounded Warriors and Veterans Who Have a Compensation Rating of 100% (Permanent & Total, or P&T) are unaware that Social Security may expedite the processing of their disability claims.  The following site provides information about Social Security, why it is important, and some of the services provided.

If you or any of your constituents served in the Armed Forces and are planning for retirement, please refer to Social Security Administration’s publication, Military Service and Social Security at You also may want to visit the Military Service page of their Retirement Planner, available at

We wish you and your family a safe and happy Memorial Day.

Very truly yours,

William G. Dressel, Jr.
Executive Director




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