Truth is the beginning of wisdom…


Posted by straight shooter on May 26, 2008 under Patriotism

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died while serving our nation.  There are many stories as to its actual beginnings as many planned or spontaneous gatherings went on to honor the war dead.  Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966.  It is not important who was the very first, what is important is that Memorial Day was established to honor those who gave their all.

Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, and was first observed on May 30, 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.  The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873.  By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states.  The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I, when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war.  It is now celebrated in almost every State on the last Monday in May and was passed by Congress with the National Holiday Act of 1971 to ensure a three day weekend for Federal holidays.

Unfortunately traditional observance of Memorial Day has diminished over the years.  Many Americans nowadays have forgotten the meaning and traditions of Memorial Day.  To many it is just a day off without thinking about those who fought and died for the freedom that we enjoy.  At many cemeteries, the graves of the fallen are increasingly ignored and neglected.  Most people no longer remember the proper flag etiquette for the day.  While there are towns and cities that still hold Memorial Day parades, many have not held a parade in decades.  Some people think the day is for honoring any and all dead, and not just those fallen in service to our country.

To help re-educate and remind Americans of the true meaning of Memorial Day, the National Moment of Remembrance was passed on Dec 2000 which asks that at 3:00 PM local time for all Americans “To voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a moment of remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence or listening to Taps.

Trust you all had a meaningful Memorial Day and did something worthwhile to memorialize those who lost their lives protecting your freedom and your way of life.

May God bless America, our troops, and our veterans.