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Robert Miller
by on May 29, 2022
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Remembering: Memorial Day

 

It is on this day that people all across this great nation pause to remember our courageous men and women who took time from their own families to make sure that all families remained safe in their daily lives. Something within them called to them to serve and while we should all be thankful 365 days a year we set aside this single day - Memorial Day to say thank you. We are not simply remembering those that lost their lives in the line of duty but to all that have and still do serve this great country of ours.

 

The holiday offers citizens a chance to reflect on the countless individuals who served, who are yet serving, and those who have lost their lives. Family and friends come together with the communities they live in to share with the families they left behind.  They have earned the right to be honored and their memories should be respected. 

 

This day runs hand in hand with Veterans Day when most celebrate both our living and our dead but I feel both should be remembered on this day as well. Memorial Day is observed on the last Monday in May and for now, it is a federal holiday. With the way this country is being run, I would not be surprised if in the near future it is not dropped and forgotten. Originally, Memorial Day was held on May 30th, but the day was later changed to turn it into a 3-day weekend. While a 3-day weekend is always nice, that is not what this day represents and should not become another excuse to party and get high or drunk. 

 

Memorial Day history in the U.S. dates back to the Civil War in the 1860s. Back then, it went by a different name—Decoration Day—named for the tradition of decorating soldiers’ graves with flowers and flags. It wasn’t until after World War I that it became what it is today. The American Civil War represented an unprecedented conflict in the United States history where more lives were lost in that one war than in any other since. Memorial Day was originally held in May to remember soldiers who died in the Civil War, which ended in the spring of 1865. 

 

John A. Logan, the leader of a Union veteran society, is often hailed as the person that started Memorial Day. By 1890, every northern state had made Decoration Day an official holiday. However, dozens of others could claim to have started Memorial Day. In reality, it probably formed gradually over time as individuals, communities, and traditions morphed together. 

 

Here are but a few of the other early Memorial Day celebrations:

  • On May 1, 1865, a group of 10,000 former slaves gathered following the conclusion of the Civil War. Together, they honored 257 Union Soldiers who were buried in a mass grave.

  • Waterloo, New York, is sometimes referred to as Memorial Day’s birthplace. This city held community-wide events for the holiday starting in 1866.

  • Mary Ann Williams of the Ladies Memorial Association of Columbus also called for a national holiday in March of 1866. Several southern states started celebrating on April 26 after her letter to the women in the South.

 

Memorial Day is full of history and meaning, and there are several ways you can celebrate. However, you choose to recognize the day, try to make it meaningful for you.

 

Refs:

 

Memorial Day 2022: Facts, Meaning & Traditions - HISTORY 

 

One of the Earliest Memorial Day Ceremonies Was Held by Freed African Americans - HISTORY 

 

9 Things You May Not Know About Memorial Day - HISTORY

 

   

The Patriot Brotherhood - It is our wish that everyone would take but a moment during their busy lives to remember those who made life possible. Remember our fallen and those wounded in the line of duty. 

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