RSS Feed

Do you know your Memorial Day history?

Posted on

It is Memorial Day Eve.  Sgt. York, a great movie about a World War I hero is playing on the TV.  During a commercial break, my grandson asks me what Memorial Day is and why we celebrate the day. This inspired me to do a little research concerning the history of Memorial Day, and how Americans came to celebrate it. I found out some interesting information that I shared with my grandson and I thought my reader’s would also be interested in reading the reasons why Memorial Day is observed.

Sgt. York (1941)

Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day and was a day declared three years after the Civil War to honor the deceased soldier’s graves with flowers. “Maj. Gen. John A. Logan declared that Decoration Day should be observed on May 30. It is believed that date was chosen because flowers would be in bloom all over the country.”

“Gen. Logan’s order for his posts to decorate graves in 1868 “with the choicest flowers of springtime” urged:

“We should guard their graves with sacred vigilance. … Let pleasant paths invite the coming and going of reverent visitors and fond mourners. Let no neglect, no ravages of time, testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten as a people the cost of a free and undivided republic.”

According to an article in Military.com, the crowd attending the first Memorial Day ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery was approximately the same size as those that attend today’s observance, about 5,000 people. Then, as now, small American flags were placed on each grave — a tradition followed at many national cemeteries today. In recent years, the custom has grown in many families to decorate the graves of all departed loved ones.

Memorial Day was officially declared a Federal Holiday in 1967. On June 28, 1968, the Congress passed the Uniform Holidays Bill, which moved four holidays, including Memorial Day, from their traditional dates to a specified Monday in order to create a convenient three-day weekend. The change moved Memorial Day from its traditional May 30 date to the last Monday in May. The law took effect at the federal level in 1971.

 Cities and towns across the United States host Memorial Day parades each year, often incorporating military personnel and members of veterans’ organizations. Some of the largest parades take place in Chicago, New York and Washington, D.C. Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries and memorials.

Each year on Memorial Day, a national moment of remembrance takes place at 3:00 p.m. local time.  Please take the time to remember a soldier.

Here are a few other places to read about Memorial Day happenings:

Memorial Day on Main Streethttp://mommeetsblog.wordpress.com/2012/05/27/memorial-day-on-main-street/

War Produces Heroshttp://gyatoday.wordpress.com/2012/05/27/war-produces-heros/

 Memorial Day 2012http://airportsmadesimple.com/2012/05/27/memorial-day-2012/

 A Memorial Day Tribute to My Grandfather- http://backseatwriter.wordpress.com/2012/05/25/a-memorial-day-tribute-to-my-grandfather/

Works Cited

Chicago’s Memorial Day Parade . (2012, 5 27). Retrieved from Explore Chicago The City of Chicago’s Official Tourism Site: http://www.explorechicago.org/city/en/things_see_do/event_landing/events/mose/memorial_day_parade.html

Hawks, H. (1941). Sgt. York. Retrieved 5 27, 2012, from http://www.sgtyork.org/Movie%20Stills/still6large.jpg

Historic American Sheet Music, 1850-1920 (from Duke University). (2012, May 27). Retrieved from American Memory: http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/D?dukesm:58:./temp/~ammem_7vON::

Memorial Day. (2012, 5 27). Retrieved from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memorial_Day

Memorial Day in New York. (2012, 5 27). Retrieved from About. Com New York City Travel: http://gonyc.about.com/od/springinnewyorkcity/a/memorial_day.htm

Military Advantage. (2012, 5 27). The History of Memorial Day. Retrieved from Military.com: http://www.military.com/memorial-day

National Memorial Day Parade. (2012, 5 27). Retrieved from http://www.nationalmemorialdayparade.com/

 

Copyright © Jamie Nowinski and Grandmother Wisdom/ Grandmother Musings 2012-2013.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jamie Nowinski – Grandmother Wisdom/Grandmother Musings with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

Advertisements

About bigsmileu1

What good is living life if you don't share all the experiences, mistakes, and knowledge you have gained? I am a grandmother, a wife, a mother of two grown children, a Jr. High Teacher for almost two decades, an elementary principal and I want to share my experiences.

5 responses »

  1. Thanks for sharing this informative post.

    BE ENCOURAGED! BE BLESSED!

    Reply
  2. I only came to thank you for linking my remembrance, but I also learned about the history of Memorial Day! Thanks for the link and for the great post!

    Reply
  3. Pingback: Great Movies to Celebrate Memorial Day | Grandmother Musings

Share a Musing or a Comment.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: