FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Asked to Honor Fallen With Moment of Remembrance
WASHINGTON, May 22,
2003 / CLARKSBURG May 23, 2003 -- For 60 seconds at precisely 3 p.m.
local time May 26, Americans around the world will engage in a moment of quiet
remembrance and respect to those who have given their lives for the privilege of
During that brief time, except for a bugler sounding "Taps," Americans of every
nationality are being urged to take a moment to reflect on the blessings of this
country and to show gratitude by giving back to the nation, according to
Carmella LaSpada. She is executive director for the White House Commission on
the National Moment of Remembrance.
LaSpada said the "Moment," as it's called, is "really important to bring the
country together. It is an act of national unity, and gives a sense of history,
of citizenship and of the connectedness ... of coming together, which reminds us
to reflect on the freedom that we have as Americans and of the debt that we owe
those who died for that freedom.
"It's a pure moment, in that we are not hyphenated Americans, that we are all
one, of one identity. In remembrance of those who died, they died for all of
us," she added.
LaSpada said that those observing the Moment should simply stop what they are
doing and pause for one minute of reflection. Another way to signify the
remembrance is to turn on vehicle headlights when driving. If planning to visit
a loved one's gravesite, do so at 3 p.m., and pause to reflect.
also encourages Americans to listen to the commission's Memorial Day anthem, "On
This Day." The song, debuting this year, is written by Charles Strouse,
award-winning composer whose credits include the musicals "Annie" and "Bye Bye
Birdie." The tune, composed especially for the National Moment of Remembrance,
can be found at official Web site
LaSpada's work to promote the annual Memorial Day tribute began in 1996. She
recalled asking a group of children on a tour of Washington what Memorial Day
meant. The kids responded: "That's the day the pools open."
"It was an innocent response from the children," she said. "But it made me
realize that Memorial Day had lost some of its meaning, that we need to remind
our children of the sacrifices made for their freedom."
"I told the children that one of the reasons you are able go to the pool is
because of the veterans who gave you the right to that freedom."
LaSpada continued her efforts to bring added recognition to the day. Finally on
Dec. 28, 2000, Congress passed a bill to formally establish the White House
commission. The first official Moment of Remembrance was held the next year.
Other observances the commission has worked to bring added meaning to include
the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Veterans Day and Operation Grateful Nation,
created to honor armed forces' families, especially those with deployed members.
LaSpada says the Moment is not meant to replace traditional Memorial Day
observances. "As you participate in the Moment, you are helping reclaim Memorial
Day for the noble and sacred reason for which it was intended -- to honor those
who died in service of our nation," she said.
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In recent weeks the Christian Apostolic Church, of Clarksburg, WV, has worked to
garner prayer support for U.S. Troops deployed abroad. The church organized two
community-wide prayer rallies under the theme “Let U.S. Pray”, and also
facilitates prayer by listing deployed troops by name on a prayer website.
Citizens are encouraged to
honor the fallen by observing the
National Moment of Remembrance,
and also to take time out to pray for our
living, deployed troops. In addition to viewing the names already present,
visitors to the “Let U.S. Pray” website can
submit the name of a soldier acquainted with them for addition to the list.
For More Information...
...on the Moment of Remembrance
activities or the White House Commission on Remembrance:
...on “Let U.S. Pray”:
Christian Apostolic Church
Rt 3 Box 303C, Clarksburg, WV 26301
Tel: (304) 624-4459