Memorial Day

The flag in our front yard, Fairfield Glade, Tennessee.  June 13, 2010.

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 about the beginnings of Memorial Day and it is hard to say where it actually began.  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 30, 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.

The first state to officially recognize Memorial Day was New York in 1873.  By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states.  The South refused to acknowledge the holiday until after World War I (when the holiday was changed from honoring just those who died fighting the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war).  In 1971 the official date of Memorial Day was set by act of Congress as the last Monday in May.

For most Americans Memorial Day is celebrated as the unofficial start of summer.  The original meaning of the day has almost been forgotten.  But please, as you enjoy the holiday, take a moment to remember those who made it possible for us to enjoy it.

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13 Responses to “Memorial Day”

  1. sandra Says:

    today we remember the dead in battle, and not those of us still living in the battle of life.

  2. Mildred Says:

    Remembering those who have given everything for our freedom and prayers for those still in harm’s way.

  3. diane Says:

    Hope you had a nice day.

  4. Karin Says:

    May you be blessed this Memorial Day! Interesting extra facts! Have a great week!

  5. Antonette Says:

    Have a wonderful, peaceful and blessed Memorial Day.

  6. Sylvia Kirkwood Says:

    Great post and reminder for the day, George! Enjoyed reading some of the history of the day that I was unfamiliar with and I do thank you for that. Hope you and Betsy have a most wonderful Memorial Day and a great week ahead!


  7. Neal Says:

    Interesting. Have a great holiday.

  8. Ginny Hartzler Says:

    I hope you’ve been having a lovely weekend, George. Did you visit your mom and dad? How are thy?

  9. Happyone Says:

    Thanks for the info. I always thought that the holiday was started after WWI.

    It’s also my birthday.

  10. NCMountainwoman Says:

    Little mention is made of it now, but North Carolina has a state holiday on May 10th marking Confederate Memorial Day.

  11. Reader Wil Says:

    May, 5th is our Liberation Day. On this day we were liberated from the nazis in 1945 thanks to the Canadians and Americans!

  12. Kathy Says:

    A very, very important day and worthy of remembrance.

  13. sartenada Says:

    One of the most important day of the year.

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