With Memorial Day weekend upon us, we wanted to share the history of Memorial Day (originally called Decoration day) and suggested ways to observe this meaningful celebration in honor of those fallen protecting our freedom.
All data below is courtesy of The Memorial Day Foundation: http://www.memorialdayfoundation.org/
Origins of Memorial Day
Memorial Day was first called Decoration Day. It was a day set aside for us to honor those who died preserving the Union in the Civil War. It was called Decoration Day for the act of decorating the graves of dead soldiers with flowers.
It is unknown when Decoration Day first became Memorial Day. The Holiday was first celebrated by the people of Waterloo, New York on May 5, 1866 and then again on May 5, 1867. It could be that Decoration Day and Memorial Day were celebrated concurrently in different parts of the North for many years until World War I. The South refused to acknowledge May 30th honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I. On June 19th, 1926 by joint resolution, U.S. Congress authorized and directed the Secratary of War to accept a tablet commemorating the designation of May 30th as Memorial Day. At that time Memorial Day was made a National Holiday and changed from honoring those who died fighting just the Civil War to honoring all Americans who died fighting in all our wars. In May 1966, President Lyndon Johnson officially declared Waterloo, N.Y. as the birthplace of Memorial Day.
Since 1971 Memorial Day is now celebrated by law on the last Monday in May. That year Congress passed the National Holiday Act, P.L. 90-363 to ensure a three day weekend for Federal holidays.
Since the late 1950’s the 1,200 soldiers of the U.S. 3rd Infantry Brigade place small American flags at each of the 260,000 gravestones at Arlington National Cemetery on the Thursday before Memorial Day. They then patrol the cemetery 24 hours a day during the Memorial Day weekend to ensure that each flag remains standing.
Since December 2000 in an effort to help Americans remember the true meaning of Memorial Day the “National Moment of Remembrance” asks that at 3P.M. local time all Americans pause for a moment of silence in remembrance and respect.
Ideas To Observe
| By wearing your Memorial Day Button from the first of May until Memorial Day.
| By visiting cemeteries and placing flags or flowers on the graves of our fallen heroes.
| By flying the U.S. Flag at half-staff until noon. Memorial Day is a day of “National Mourning.”
| By attending religious services of your choice.
| By visiting memorials.
| By participating in a “National Moment of Remembrance” at 3:00 PM local time, to pause and think upon the meaning of the day and for taps to be played where possible.
| By renewing a pledge to aid the widows, and orphans of our fallen dead, and to aid the disabled veterans.
Gratitude to all who remember and honor the fallen this day and always,
Bobbi Decker & Associates fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. For more information, please visit: http://portal.hud.gov/