Tag Archive for 'militia'

Remember America’s militia on Memorial Day

This is Jim’s traditional Memorial Day column.

Reasonable people disagree on the exact origins of what is now called Memorial Day.  But most accept that the practice of decorating the graves of Americans who died defending their country began in earnest by women of the South during and following the Civil War.

On May 5, 1868, General John A. Logan, National Commander of the Army of the Republic, was the first to make Memorial Day official with General Order No. 11, which stated in part that, ” … the 30th day 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 …”

Since then, other than Congress making it a national holiday and changing the date to the last Monday in May, America has honored its fallen heroes from all conflicts in pretty much the manner that General Logan anticipated with the language of his order, whereby  “… posts and comrades will in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit …”

When America issued its first call to arms - before it was a country, before there was a standing professional army - that call went to the militia, which was identified as, “all able-bodied men.”   Calling themselves the “Minutemen,” because they could be ready to fight on a minute’s notice, they were primarily shopkeepers, craftsmen, farmers, etc.  Today, we call them small business owners.

From as far away as Scotland, America’s Minutemen were impressive. Writing about the colonies’ quest for independence from England in his classic work, The Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith predicted America would prevail thanks to its militia which, ” … turns from its primary citizen character into a standing army.”

By the 20th century, state militias had become part of the National Guard. And by 1916, the National Defense Act created another layer of citizen soldiers, the Reserves.

Prior to the war with Spain in 1898, latter-day Minutemen served only on American soil. But ever since, including two World Wars and four major conflicts, America has deployed citizen-soldiers around the world alongside regular forces. Indeed, in Iraq and Afghanistan, Guard and Reserve members accounted for one third of U.S. forces, as well as a comparable percentage of casualties.

Whenever they’ve been called, small business owners and their employees have left the marketplace to demonstrate their courage - and die, if necessary - on the battlefield. So this weekend, as we honor all who paid the ultimate price in service to this country, let’s also remember the long tradition of America’s small business volunteers who’ve answered the call, and served faithfully in harm’s way on behalf of a grateful nation.

Write this on a rock … America owes much to the sacrifice of those heroes who’ve turned from their, “primary citizen character into a standing army.”

Remember America’s Militia on Memorial Day

This is Jim’s traditional Memorial Day column.

Reasonable people disagree on the origins of Memorial Day, but most accept that the practice of decorating the graves of Americans who died in military service began in earnest during the Civil War.

On May 5, 1868, General John A. Logan, Commander of the Army of the Republic, made Memorial Day official with General Order No. 11, which stated in part, “… the 30th day 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 …” And other than Congress making Memorial Day a national holiday on the last Monday in May, America has since honored its fallen heroes from all conflicts pretty much as General Logan ordered.

When America issued its first call to arms before we had a professional army, it went to the militia, which was identified as “all able-bodied men.”  Called “Minutemen” because they could be ready to fight on a minute’s notice, they were primarily shopkeepers, craftsmen, farmers, etc. Today we call them small business owners.

From as far away as Scotland, America’s Minutemen were impressive. Writing about the colonies’ quest for independence in “The Wealth of Nations,” Adam Smith predicted America would prevail thanks to its militia which, “…turns from its primary citizen character into a standing army.”

Early in the 20th century, state militias became the National Guard and the National Defense Act created the Reserves. In every war or conflict since, America has deployed these latter-day Minutemen (and women) alongside regular forces, where they represented a proportional number of casualties.

On this Memorial Day, as we honor all who paid the ultimate price in service to this country, let’s also remember the long tradition of America’s militia, including small business owners and employees, who served courageously on behalf of a grateful nation. It’s hard enough leaving family to march into harm’s way, but the degree of difficulty of that commitment is compounded for volunteers who also disconnect from businesses and full-time careers.

Contemplating the blessing of freedom wherever it may be found, there is one prime truth: Freedom is not free. As beneficiaries of those who paid the ultimate price for our freedom, our only method of repayment—the only way we can ever be worthy of their sacrifice—is to do all we can to maintain the freedom that they paid for and gave to us.

Write this on a rock –

God bless those who paid the ultimate price for our freedom, including past and present Minutemen.

Jim Blasingame is the author of the new book, “The Age of the Customer: Prepare for the Moment of Relevance.”

Remember America’s militia this Memorial Day

Reasonable people disagree on the origins of Memorial Day, but most accept that the practice of decorating the graves of Americans who died in military service began in earnest during the Civil War.

On May 5, 1868, General John A. Logan, Commander of the Army of the Republic, made Memorial Day official with General Order No. 11, which stated in part, “… the 30th day 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 …” And other than Congress making Memorial Day a national holiday on the last Monday in May, America has since honored its fallen heroes from all conflicts pretty much as General Logan ordered.

When America issued its first call to arms before we had a professional army, it went to the militia, which was identified as “all able-bodied men.”  Called “Minutemen” because they could be ready to fight on a minute’s notice, they were primarily shopkeepers, craftsmen, farmers, etc. Today we call them small business owners.

From as far away as Scotland, America’s Minutemen were impressive. Writing about the colonies’ quest for independence in “The Wealth of Nations,” Adam Smith predicted America would prevail thanks to its militia which, “…turns from its primary citizen character into a standing army.”

Early in the 20th century, state militias became the National Guard and the National Defense Act created the Reserves. In every war or conflict since, America has deployed these latter-day Minutemen (and women) alongside regular forces, where they represented a proportional number of casualties.

On this Memorial Day, as we honor all who paid the ultimate price in service to this country, let’s also remember the long tradition of America’s militia, including small business owners and employees, who served courageously on behalf of a grateful nation. It’s hard enough leaving family to march into harm’s way, but the degree of difficulty of that commitment is compounded for volunteers who also disconnect from businesses and full-time careers.

Contemplating the blessing of freedom wherever it may be found, there is one prime truth: Freedom is not free. As beneficiaries of those who paid the ultimate price for our freedom, our only method of repayment-the only way we can ever be worthy of their sacrifice-is to do all we can to maintain the freedom that they paid for and gave to us.

Write this on a rock … God bless those who paid the ultimate price for our freedom, including past and present Minutemen.

Remembering America’s militia

Reasonable people disagree on the origins of Memorial Day. But most accept that the practice of decorating graves of Americans who died in military service began in earnest during the Civil War.

On May 5, 1868, General John A. Logan, Commander of the Army of the Republic, made Memorial Day official with General Order No. 11, which stated in part, “… the 30th day 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 …” And other than Congress making Memorial Day a national holiday and affixing it to the last Monday in May, America has since honored its fallen heroes from all conflicts pretty much as General Logan ordered.

When America issued its first call to arms – before it had a professional army – that call went to the militia, which was identified as “all able-bodied men.” Calling themselves the “Minutemen,” because they could be ready to fight on a minute’s notice, they were primarily shopkeepers, craftsmen, farmers, etc. Today, we call them small business owners.

From as far away as Scotland, America’s Minutemen were impressive. Writing about the colonies’ quest for independence in “The Wealth of Nations,” Adam Smith predicted America would prevail thanks to its militia which, “…turns from its primary citizen character into a standing army.” By the 20th century, state militias had become the National Guard. And in 1916, the National Defense Act created the Reserves.

Prior to the war with Spain in 1898, latter-day Minutemen served only on American soil. But ever since – including two World Wars, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq twice, and Afghanistan – America has deployed citizen-soldiers alongside regular forces, around the world. Indeed, in Iraq and Afghanistan, Guard and Reserve members have accounted for one-third of U.S. forces, as well as a comparable percentage of casualties.

On this Memorial Day, as we honor all who have paid the ultimate price in service to this country, let’s also remember the long tradition of America’s small business volunteers, including employees, who served honorably and courageously on behalf of a grateful nation.

It’s hard enough leaving family to march into harm’s way. But the degree of difficulty of that commitment is compounded for Guard and Reserve volunteers who also disconnect from businesses and full-time careers.

America would not have endured without those who “turn from primary citizen character into a standing army.”

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This morning on The Small Business Advocate Show I talked more about the sacrifices of America’s citizen soldiers and offered two poems in memory of those who gave the ultimate sacrifice. Click on one of the links below to download or listen.

America would not have endured without citizen soldiers

Freedom isn’t free

Check out more great SBA content HERE!




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