We would like to take a moment this Memorial Day to say thank you. Thank you to those on the frontlines, to those who served, to those who continue to serve, and to the families of our fallen heros…
Memorial Day. Today is a holiday that for most Americans is synonymous with sales and savings. Almost a national shopping day if you will, rivaling Black Friday and Cyber Monday for most retailers. We get so caught up in the hype, we sometimes forgot what today is really meant to be about. So in this weeks post, I wanted to take some time to do a few things.
#1. Say thank you and pay tribute to our nation’s fallen heros and their families.
#2. Share a little history on what Memorial Day really is about.
#3. Share a few of my favorite recent mosiacs honoring the memebers of our military.
The History of Memorial Day
You may be wondering how Memorial Day came to be, so let’s start out there. I am willing to bet it is a lot older of a holiday than many realize…
Memorial Day is a federal holiday observed in the United States on the last Monday of May each year. It is a day dedicated to honoring and remembering the men and women who have died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. The history of Memorial Day dates back to the aftermath of the American Civil War.
Where did “Memorial Day” come from?
The Civil War (which took place from 1861 to 1865) resulted in a significant loss of life on both sides. As the war came to an end, communities across the country began holding ceremonies and decorating the graves of fallen soldiers. These commemorations were often organized by women’s groups and were known as “Decoration Day.”
The exact origin of Memorial Day is still a matter of debate, as multiple communities claim to be the birthplace of the holiday.
One of the earliest observances of Decoration Day was held on May 1, 1865, in Charleston, South Carolina. Former slaves gathered to honor Union soldiers who had died in a Confederate prisoner-of-war camp. They cleaned and landscaped the burial ground, built an archway, and held a parade of thousands of people.
In 1868, General John A. Logan, leader of an organization for Northern Civil War veterans, called for a nationwide day of remembrance. He declared May 30 as Decoration Day, to be observed annually by decorating the graves of fallen soldiers with flowers and flags. The first official observance took place at Arlington National Cemetery, where thousands of people decorated the graves of both Union and Confederate soldiers.
Over time, Memorial Day became more widespread, with communities throughout the United States holding their own ceremonies to honor the fallen. The name “Memorial Day” gradually replaced “Decoration Day” and became the more commonly used term.
When was Memorial Day officially established?
In 1971, the U.S. Congress declared Memorial Day a national holiday and established it as the last Monday in May to create a three-day weekend. This change was made to encourage the observance of Memorial Day and provide a designated day for honoring the nation’s fallen heroes.
Today, Memorial Day is commemorated in various ways across the United States. Many people visit cemeteries and memorials, where American flags are placed on the graves of servicemen and women. Parades, concerts, and other public events are also held to honor the sacrifices of those who died while serving their country. Additionally, it has become a tradition for many to take part in family gatherings, barbecues, and other recreational activities during the long weekend. However, it is important to remember and reflect on the true meaning of the holiday and the sacrifices made by the brave men and women of the military.
Why we celebrate Memorial Day
We celebrate Memorial Day to honor and remember the men and women who have died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. The primary purpose of this holiday is to pay tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of their country and to recognize their contributions to preserving freedom and ensuring the safety of the nation.
Memorial Day serves as a reminder of the tremendous bravery and selflessness exhibited by these fallen soldiers. It provides an opportunity for the nation to express gratitude for their service and to reflect on the sacrifices made by military personnel and their families.
Memorial Day also symbolizes the start of the summer season in the United States. It has become a time for families and friends to gather, enjoy outdoor activities, and appreciate the freedoms that have been safeguarded by the sacrifices of military personnel.
It is important to remember that the true essence of Memorial Day lies in its solemn purpose of honoring and remembering those who gave their lives in service to their country. It is a time for reflection, remembrance, and gratitude.