Memorial Day Remembered

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Memorial Day remembered

Today is Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day. I thought I’d share some facts I’ve learned in my research of the day. (information taken from Memorial Day History)

  • many states claim the origin of Memorial Day but no one really knows who started it first (even though LBJ declared Waterloo, NY to be the birthplace of the day)
  • originally called Decoration Day as a day of remembering those who died in our nation’s service
  • women in the south were decorating graves of fallen soldiers before the end of the Civil War
  • by 1890 it was officially recognized by all the northern states
  • the southern states celebrated their own date for honoring fallen soldiers
  • by WWI, both northern and southern states came together to celebrate the same day, as it was now including soldiers from ALL wars, not just the Civil War
  • National Holiday Act of 1971 declared Memorial Day as the last Monday in May, although several southern states still have a different day to honor their Confederate War dead
  • Moina Michael, inspired by In Flanders Fields, came up with the idea of wearing a red poppy to honor soldiers who have died way back in 1915
  • over the years, the traditions of Memorial Day have been forgotten, soldiers graves left undecorated and neglected, neglecting proper flag etiquette (flying at 1/2 mast until noon), thinking this is a day for remembering ALL dead loved ones instead of those who gave their lives in war
  • in Dec 2000 the “National Moment of Remembrance” was passed which asks that at 3 p.m. 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.” (quoted from Memorial Day History

As your family celebrates this solemn day, remember those who gave their lives to protect yours. Whether you are a pacifist or not, remember and honor those who were willing to fight with “their last ounce of devotion” to protect the rights and freedoms you so dearly cherish and enjoy. From the soldiers of the Revolutionary War all the way to the war today. We can set aside our political differences to give honor to those men and women who sacrificed their all, their very lives, for our sake.

I am generally not a patriotic person. But my father fought in WWII when he was  barely 18, was taken captive and survived 4 different POW camps and spent the rest of his life struggling with the physical and emotional tortures he endured. It touched my family very personally. Maybe war has never touched your family in such an intimate way. But we can still teach our children to honor those who fought and died for our country’s sake.

(image courtesy of honestly_mom Photobucket)


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6 comments to Memorial Day Remembered

  • I’ve not been touched personally by war, but I do believe it’s SO IMPORTANT to teach our children what this day really means. It’s not just a kick off to summer vacation or a special day when daddy’s home from work, but a day to remember and give thanks for the ones who have fought to keep us free. Just hearing about your dad makes my heart ache. So many horrors of war just never end, do they?

  • Thanks for stopping by my blog, Kate. I enjoy linking up with other Christian ladies online so I’m following you on FB and Twitter. Blessings!

  • Thank you for these interesting facts- I had done some research myself and it was sad to see that many people have forgotten the initial intention of the day…some thinking it is just a ‘great three day weekend’

    • Kate

      I remember going with my mom to her mother’s grave on Memorial Day — it was an unmarked grave because they were so poor when her mother died. Until the year she sobbed because she couldn’t find the grave and the graveyard keeper had passed away who knew. But even then, we didn’t realize it was supposed to be a day for fallen soldiers.

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