Blog 113 for 5-25-2019
REMEMBER THE FALLEN MILITARY
MONDAY, MAY 27, 2019
May I share a little history of (USA) Memorial Day? It’s a federal holiday in the U.S. for remembering the people, men and women, who died while serving in the country’s armed forces. Many reading this blog, may remember that it used to be called DECORATION DAY, when people would go to cemetaries and place flowers or flags on the graves. Charles remembers this well.
Memorial Day is considered the official start of summer vacation in the U.S.; while Labor Day, the first Monday of September, marks summer’s end. Cemetaries are visited on Memorial Day to honor those who died in military service. You’ve seen, as have I, beautiful National Cemetaries adorned with American Flags on each grave.
In 1966, WATERLOO, N.Y., was declared by the Federal Government to be the official birthplace of Memorial Day. Waterloo first celebrated this special day on May 5, 1866; and, hosted lots of annual events in the ensuing years, remembering the occasion. Businesses would close; residents would decorate the graves.
The Civil War, which ended in 1865, claimed more lives than any conflict in U.S. history; and, it required the establishment of the country’s first National Cemetaries. So on May 5, 1868, the leader of an organization for Northern Civil War Veterans, General John A. Logan, called for a special National Day to honor those who died serving their country. He said that May 30th would be designated for the purpose of decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country. “Those bodies lay in almost every city, village, and hamlet church graveyard in the land,” he said.
On the first Decoration Day, General James Garfield made a speech at ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETARY, and 5,000 participants decorated the graves of the 20,000 UNION and CONFEDERATE soldiers buried there.
By 1890, many Northern states had made Decoration Day an official STATE HOLIDAY. On the other hand, Southern states continued to honor their dead on separate days until after World War I. It was during and after World War I that the holiday began to recognize and honor all American Military Personnel, who died in ALL wars, not just the CIVIL War.
Two other days celebrate those who serve or have served in the armed forces; VETERANS DAY (Nov. 11, 2019) and ARMED FORCES DAY (celebrated May 18, this year).
Most of this information came from Wikipedia and googling Memorial Day - History. May God bless all those who serve, past and present. It’s a blessing to go to a cemetary and see the decorated tombs of those who served and paid the ultimate sacrifice. MAY GOD BLESS AMERICA.