Good Morning. Yes it has been awhile since our last blog. I have noticed some discrepancies about today’s holiday. And well since I’m a Veteran I wanted to clarify a bit. So lets begin.
Memorial Day is a day of reflection for the ones who gave the ultimate sacrifice. In every war and conflict the United States we have lost military members. Today, yes we have the cookouts and corporate has their sales to entice us. But lets think about the real meaning.Each year on Memorial Day a national moment of remembrance takes place at 3:00 p.m. local time. Usually taps is played on bases at 9p (2100).
So lets talk about the history of today. By the late 1860s, Americans in various towns and cities had begun holding springtime tributes to these countless fallen soldiers, decorating their graves with flowers and reciting prayers.
It is unclear where exactly this tradition originated; numerous different communities may have independently initiated the memorial gatherings. Nevertheless, in 1966 the federal government declared Waterloo, New York, the official birthplace of Memorial Day.
Waterloo—which first celebrated the day on May 5, 1866—was chosen because it hosted an annual, community-wide event, during which businesses closed and residents decorated the graves of soldiers with flowers and flags.
On May 5, 1868, General John A. Logan, leader of an organization for Northern Civil War veterans, called for a nationwide day of remembrance later that month. “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,” he proclaimed.
The date of Decoration Day, as he called it, was chosen because it wasn’t the anniversary of any particular battle.
Many Northern states held similar commemorative events and reprised the tradition in subsequent years; by 1890 each one had made Decoration Day an official state holiday. Southern states, on the other hand, continued to honor their dead on separate days until after World War I. Remember Southern States where honoring the Confederate Soldiers and Sailors of the Civil War too.
For decades, Memorial Day continued to be observed on May 30, the date Logan had selected for the first Decoration Day. But in 1968 Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which established Memorial Day as the last Monday in May in order to create a three-day weekend for federal employees; the change went into effect in 1971. The same law also declared Memorial Day a federal holiday.
So in closing. At 3pm today take that moment of silence before engaging in the cookouts or movies with family and friends. Its a tradition that is long forgotten.