Memorial Day

The Tomb of the Unknown, Arlington.  July, 1992.

The Tomb of the Unknown, Arlington. July, 1992.

The picture above is a scan from a photograph of the Tomb of the Unknowns I took in 1992.  The original photograph is now very washed out, so I converted it to sepia.  It’s not a very good picture, but I wanted to include it in this post for Memorial  Day.

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation’s service.  There are many stories as to the actual beginnings of Decoration Day, but Waterloo, N. Y., was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson.  There is  also evidence that organized women’s groups in the South were decorating graves before the end of the Civil War.

Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on May 5, 1868, by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, and was first observed on May 30th of that same year.  The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873.  By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states, although the South refused to acknowledge the day until after World War I, when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war.

The holiday has changed in many ways over the years.  In 1971 Congress changed the date to the last Monday in May to ensure a three day weekend.  As such, Memorial Day is now celebrated as much for the unofficial  beginning of summer as it is for a day of remembrance.

So I hope you will enjoy any special activities that you have planned for the day.  But I also hope you will take a moment to remember those who sacrificed so much to give us the freedom that we enjoy.

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12 Responses to “Memorial Day”

  1. Tina Says:

    I love your choice to post this pix in sepia..a very nice choice..for a wonderful day to honor our military!!
    1992..seems like yesterday
    have a good one…

  2. JennJilks Says:

    Finally, a good explanation! I kept wondering about it, but did not actually ask anyone.
    Thank you so much. Nice succinct post!
    /a Canadian in My Muskoka

  3. Busy bee suz Says:

    Beautiful post George. So nice to learn the details of this holiday.

  4. Susie Says:

    A nice post George! Thanks for sharing the info.

  5. Fishing Guy Says:

    George: What a fine tribute to the soilders.

  6. Tricia Says:

    Absolutely! Love this post

  7. imac Says:

    So nice in Sepia George, its always good to remember all the folks that died in any war who fought for their Country.

  8. NCmountainwoman Says:

    Nice post. And yes, I will remember…especially today.

  9. Josephine Says:

    George, a lovely and well-deserved tribute to all of our soldiers and heroes.
    Thank you for your lovely post.

  10. storyteller Says:

    Lovely tribute and reminder for us all.
    Hugs and blessings,

  11. ewok1993 Says:

    What a fitting post for today. Great tribute.

  12. Rambling Woods Says:

    Everyone should see the changing of the guard really feel the history of loss in Arlington..

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