Memorial Day

Memorial Day

Memorial Day!!!  What comes to mind when you hear those words???   Picnics, BBQ’s, parades, pools, start of summer? That is what I’m sure many of us automatically imagine.  (I’m guilty also!)  I am fully aware that it is a day set aside to remember those who have died fighting for my freedoms, along with yours.  That got me thinking, “How did Memorial Day start?  When did it start?”, etc.  So after some investigating, here are some interesting facts about the national holiday I wanted to share.

 

 

  • Originally it was a day of remembrance for the 620,000 Civil War military who died during service.
  • It was later broadened to include all military personnel who died in all wars.
  • Known as Decoration Day, General John Logan, declared it so in 1868 after watching wives and family members place flowers, flags and other decorations on fallen soldiers’ graves.
  • The holiday was observed on May 30th, until Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act in 1968.  This created a three day weekend for federal employees.  It went into effect in 1971.  The name was changed to Memorial Day.
  • Some customs related to Memorial Day:
    • Different coins on soldiers graves have different meanings.  Pennies mean someone stopped by.  Dimes indicate the person served with the deceased.  While quarters represent they saw his/her death.
    • Flag is flown at half staff until noon.  Then it is raised to the top til sunset.
    • Taps, a 24 note bugle call, is played at all military funerals and services.
    • The tradition of wearing red poppies to remember those who served came from a World War I poem, “In Flanders Fields” by John McCrea.

So this Memorial Day, observe the national moment of remembrance at 3 p.m. local time.  Its because of these braves souls that have fought and are still fighting that we have freedom.

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