Memorial Day is the unofficial start to summer. The three-day weekend is chalk full of barbecues, parades, super sales and pool and water park openings. But, what is it, truly, that we are celebrating? Many people don’t know that the day is set aside for remembering and memorializing American servicemen and women that have been killed in American wars. But, there is so much more to the story. Here are several facts about Memorial Day you may not know:
- Civil War origins – The late spring remembrance to American war dead began in the aftermath of the Civil War. Originally called Decoration Day, it was an informal commemoration of the roughly 620,000 soldiers killed during the Civil War.
- Freed American slaves organized earliest commemorations – On May 1, 1865, black US soldiers, including the Massachusetts 54th Infantry, gathered in Charleston, South Carolina at a new burial for Union dead. They distributed flowers and sang hymns.
- Official holiday founded in May 1868 – General John A. Logan, who was commander of a Union veterans’ group called the Grand Army of the Republic, decreed that May 30 would become a nationwide day of commemoration.
- Did not become a federal holiday until 1971 – After General Logan decreed a national day in 1868, more than 27 states adopted some form of commemoration. By 1890, every state had adopted it, but the day still only recognized Civil War dead. After our entry into World War I, the holiday was expanded to include those killed in all wars. But it wasn’t until 1971, when the U.S. was 6 years deep into the Vietnam War, for Memorial Day became the federal holiday set aside on the last Monday of May that we know it as now.
- Many have lobbied for it to return to May 30 – Many Veterans groups that American do not use the day for its intended purpose, but instead associate it with the first long weekend of the summer. They argue that returning the commemoration back to May 30, regardless of the day of the week would return the significance to honoring war dead.
- Memorial Day traditions and practices – On Memorial Day, the American flag should be hung at half-staff until 12:00 noon, and then raised to the top. In 2000 Congress passed a resolution that suggested Americans should pause at 3:00 pm local time to offer a National Moment of Remembrance.
- Who is included in a Federal Holiday – A Federal holiday, like Memorial Day, technically only applies to Federal employees and those in the District of Columbia. However, many of the 11 federal holidays, Memorial Day included, are observed by all 50 states and many businesses.
This Memorial Day, as you’re having barbecues and parades, pause for a few moments to remember those American servicemen and women who made the ultimate sacrifice. Happy Memorial Day from our team and Knit-Rite and Therafirm.
April is Limb Loss Awareness Month. There are roughly 1.7 million people in the United States living with limb loss. No one ever expects to lose a limb, but still there are 507 people every day who lose limbs. Approximately 1,558 military personnel have lost a limb as a result of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. This is usually what comes to mind when thinking of limb loss, but the loss of a limb may be due to vascular diseases, including diabetes and peripheral arterial disease, traumas or cancer.
The statistics can be staggering to imagine, but due to significant advancements in the quality of prosthetic limbs, it may be difficult to even determine that someone you meet has even lost a limb. Many amputees are able to have careers and participate in activities that were once thought difficult or impossible.
They can run.
They can dance.
They can fight fires.
All with the help of well-made and well-fitting prosthetics. A good, comfortable fit is key to an amputee’s mobility, which is why our team at Knit-Rite makes the prosthetic socks that we do. It is our mission to improve the quality of life for amputees and others through our products. Every day our team works, not only to make these products, but to make improvements upon them.
Today and all days, we’d like to send a big high-five to all the 1.7 million Americans who are living with limb loss.
One of the first things you think about when you hear “Knit-Rite” is family. The togetherness and comradery felt within the walls is unique to the workplace. That’s why when one of its leaders retires it is truly bittersweet. You’re happy for their accomplishments, but sad to lose their daily contributions.
Lucky for Knit-Rite that we’ll still get to see Ron Hercules from time to time. But alas, last month he officially retired and got to celebrate his long career with his Knit-Rite family at a big family lunch!
The party started with a celebratory line of employees cheering and welcoming Ron and his family, which was followed by a delicious barbecue lunch from Kansas City favorite Gates Barbecue. After lunch Knit-Rite employees showered Ron with heartfelt speeches, stories and gifts.
So, as Ron moves on to a new adventure in his life, he’ll carry with him his Knit-Rite family. And the Knit-Rite family will carry on with the knowledge and wisdom that Ron has contributed throughout the years. That’s what families do.
Many schools around the country are back in session. Many others will start in the coming weeks. We know you’ll be busy collecting notebooks, pencils and crayons for your children, as well as Back to School clothes. Don’t forget to pick up new orthotics for your kids’ new school year.
SmartKnit seamless AFO and KAFO socks are made especially for kids that require ankle foot orthosis or knee and ankle foot orthosis. Similar to our SmartKnit Seamless Sensitivity Socks, Knit-Rite’s AFO and KAFO socks are made with a technique that mirrors the way a caterpillar spins its cocoon – starting at the toe and circling the top of the sock. There are no seams to rub and irritate. And there is no heel, ensuring a perfect fit. SmartKnit AFOs and KAFOs are exceptionally soft. They wick away perspiration and are anti-microbial. Kids love wearing SmartKnit socks – the comfortable and cool layer between your child and his AFO or KAFO.
For children that wear low profile bracing such as SMOs or UCBLs, the SmartKnit super soft seamless SMO Interface Socks are the perfect option. Our SMO socks help reduce pressure and increase compliance. Our patented Core-Spun yarns make a form fitting sock that doesn’t wrinkle or bunch. The non-binding Halo top won’t slip down the leg. And like the AFO and KAFO socks, our SMO socks are moisture wicking for a comfortable coolness.
Children wearing any type of spinal orthoses or body jacket will need to have several protective body interfaces for school. Our Knit-Rite torso interfaces are heavier than a T-shirt to provide more cushioning between the child and the spinal orthoses. The torsos have moisture wicking and anti-microbial properties to keep skin dry, protected and comfortable. The new and improved seamless finishing provides even more comfort throughout the day for the wearer.
These great products will keep children cool and comfortable in their orthoses throughout the long school day so they can keep their focus on their studies.
Happy Back to School 2015 from Knit-Rite!
Every athlete knows it’s important to protect your body; it’s your most important piece of athletic equipment and the key to longevity in your sport. Football players wear helmets and pads. Soccer players wear shin guards. Volleyball players wear a good pair of knee pads. And runners wear the right kind of running shoes designed for long distance or sprints, and meant to protect their feet.
Amputee athletes are no different. They must also protect their bodies, from the elements of their sports and even from the blisters and irritation caused from the prostheses themselves. Protection is the role that Knit-Rite prosthetic socks play for these athletes.
“It doesn’t matter how fancy your prosthesis is, you have to have the right sock,” says Tanya Khvitsko, Knit-Rite employee and amputee runner. Tanya is a champion of the Soft-Sock. It’s her choice for everyday and for running. “It’s lightweight and super comfortable,” she says.
Here’s Tanya wearing a Soft-Sock in one of her races!
The lightweight nature is important to Tanya in securing the right fit and being comfortable while she trains and competes. The super soft and moisture-wicking fibers of the Soft-Sock are extra gentle on Tanya’s sensitive skin.
When irritation does set in, Tanya turns to Knit-Rite’s Liner-Liner. The super soft, super thin material of the Liner-Liner helps to relieve irritation, while not inhibiting the suction grip of her prosthesis against her skin.
The Soft-Sock and Liner-Liner are important tools as Tanya trains and works toward her goals. She wants to run a full marathon. She started running three years ago and since that time, she’s run more than 50 races, one of them a half marathon. And she ran her fastest 5K in 30 minutes. The full marathon won’t be far off!
Knit Rite’s soft sock has a new, patented hemispherically knit distal end. The originally cuddly, soft Knit Rite Soft Sock has been updated with a 3-D distal end to provide improved fitting and comfort over the traditional flat knit shape of traditional prosthetic socks. Knit-Rite Soft Socks contain the right amount of Lyrca to provide stretch for an optimal fit.
Soft Socks are available in X-Static and Micro-Cool. Both fibers help to wick moisture away from the skin to inhibit the growth of odor causing bacteria. With a fleeced interior, Soft Socks feel warm and cuddly next to the skin.
For more information about Knit-Rite’s Soft Sock or to find a provider near you, please visit Knit-Rite online.