To most of us Memorial Day weekend is just an opportunity to spend three-days lazing around the pool making plans for the upcoming summer vacation, or hitting the malls looking for bargains. Hence it is often easy to forget the real significance of this holiday – A day to honor the brave men and women who have sacrificed their lives whilst serving in our armed forces. Started by General John Logan, the National Commander of the Grand Army of the Republic as a way to unite the country following the Civil War, Memorial Day was first observed on May 30th, 1868, by simply placing flowers on the graves of both
National Cemetery. By 1890, all the Northern States began to observe Memorial Day. However, the states in the south refused to join in, and instead chose other days to honor their fallen heroes. Though they finally after World War I, when the holiday changed from honoring those who had died in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war, some Southern States also set aside an additional day to honor those soldiers that lost their lives in the war.
In 1971, Memorial Day was declared a national holiday and moved from May 30th to the last Monday of May, so that Americans could enjoy a three-day weekend. Though having an extra holiday is a great idea, the. Kids think of it as holiday that marks the \’beginning of summer\’ or the \’first day when swimming pools open\’, while adults, about their barbeque parties. To try revive the significance, a organization in Washington D. C. came up with the idea of a \’National Moment of Remembrance\’, which asks every American to observe a minute of silence at 3. 00 pm ( local time ) to honor our heroes – The least we can do, in return for the ultimate sacrifice that the soldiers made for us.
So on this Memorial Day, as you chow down on your burgers and slurp on your root beer floats, do take a minute to reflect on all those brave men and women who gave up their lives for our nation and allowed you this freedom. Happy Memorial Day! 2013 is quickly approaching. On Monday, May 27, people all across the U. S. will commemorate the men and women who have died during military service. Flags will be placed at gravesites, memorial sites will be visited and prayers will be said as we collectively tip our hats to those who have put themselves in harm\’s way so that others don\’t have to. It\’s a gesture whose roots are sunk deep in American history. According to the, the very first Memorial Day ceremony in the U. S. was held on May 30, 1868, on the heels of the Civil War, the deadliest conflict in U. S. history.
Like Us on Facebook The remembrance celebration, initially dubbed Decoration Day, was held at the Arlington mansion across the Potomac River from Washington, D. C. , where General Robert E. Lee once lived. According to, Decoration Day was meant to be a sacred day to remember those who had died in the Civil War, a conflict that claimed. Over the years, and many wars later, the day came to represent all military personnel who had died in conflict. Why, then, does the U. S. \’s most sacred secular holiday always fall on the final Monday in May? What\’s the significance? The last weekend of May is a flexible window, and the earlier, fixed date of May 30, which was changed in 1971, has no special significance for the history of armed conflict in the United States.
Why, then, do we celebrate veterans at a time when nothing needing special remembrance occurred? Apparently, it\’s all about the flowers. \”It is believed that date was chosen because flowers would be in bloom all over the country,\” the reports. Flowers were an integral part of Memorial Day ceremonies in the holiday\’s beginning, and springtime in the Northern Hemisphere is when flowers are blooming at their best. \”The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land,\”, a general in the Union Army, proclaimed. Read more from iScience Times: