A Day Dedicated to Gratitude & Remembrance
Fun facts –
Did you know it’s traditional to fly the US flag at half mast from dawn til noon on Memorial Day? The custom is to then raise the flag briskly to the top of the staff until sunset in order honor our nation’s battle heroes.
This holiday honoring men and women who died while serving in the US military was known as Decoration Day unitl 1971. The observance originated 3 years after the Civil War ended in 1868 by an organization of Union veterans, with the traditional date being May 30th. Today cities in both the North and South still claim to be the birthplace of Decoration Day, however the North wins this argument. In 1966, Waterloo, NY was declared the official “birthplace” by Congress & President Johnson-a southerner! In 1971, the holiday became known as Memorial Day, by an act of Congress, and was moved to the last Monday of May.
“The National Moment of Remembrance Act” was passed in 2000 and encourages all American to pause wherever they are at 3PM local time for a minute of silence as a tribute to all that have died in service to this great country.
In a fitting tribute, General Logan said in 1868: “…with the choicest flowers of springtime 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 the coming generations that we have forgotten as a people the cost of a free and undivided republic.”
Over the years Memorial Day has become less of an occasion of remembrance. Many people choose to hold picnics, sports events and family gatherings on this weekend which traditional marks the unofficial start of summer.
This Memorial Day, enjoy your loved ones as you remember those who have fought for your freedome, and enjoy a fantastic kick-off to summer.