Memorial Day

Memorial Day was originally know as Decoration Day.  May was chosen for this observance as May is the month where the greatest number of flowers are in bloom across the nation.  While various cities and towns argue about who originated Decoration Day, it is generally accepted that it was begun by southern women decorating the graves of fallen confederate soldiers and that it began before the Civil War ended.  Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.

States began adopting it individually after that and it became a Federal holiday on the last Monday of May as part of the National Holiday Act of 1971.  Some believe this has lead to a diminished respect for the holiday as it has become part of a long holiday weekend rather than a day of rememberance.

To help re-educate and remind Americans of the true meaning of Memorial Day, the “National Moment of Remembrance” resolution was passed on Dec 2000 which asks that at 3 p.m. local time, for all Americans “To voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a Moment of remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence or listening to ‘Taps.”

Take a moment and remember those that gave their lives for our country and protected our way of life on this day.

Some information taken from the U.S. Memorial Day Organization and Wikipedia.

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