Surprisingly, there are many people today that have no clue what Memorial Day represents or means. It’s a sad statement, but also a fact. Unless someone was raised around military family members; a good portion of the time they don’t know what they’re celebrating. It’s a BBQ or a gathering. It’s Memorial Day. Period.
A majority of us do know what this holiday represents, for the most part. Yet, there are still some tidbits that you may not actually know. While you may know that it’s always celebrated on the last Monday in May, you may not be aware that as an official holiday it’s fairly young. While it was made an official holiday in 1971, it began in the years following the Civil War. It was this war that is responsible for the very first national cemeteries. In the year 1860 many cities and smaller towns held tributes to the fallen soldiers in the spring. They would take flowers and ribbon to decorate the graves that marked those soldiers that had fallen in battle. No ones know which town began to show this day of respect but it spread quickly. For the books, the federal government, in 1966, decided to call Waterloo, NY the “official” Memorial Day birthplace. The reason for their choice was due to the fact that, when traced back, Waterloo celebrated the event in 1866 on the 5th of May and held a very large event. The resident’s decorated graves and the entire town closed their businesses for the day.
While we call it Memorial Day today; it was first called Decoration Day in 1868 by General John Logan due to the actions of the residents.
Little Known Facts:
**The official time for the moment of silence is at 3:00 pm on Memorial Day.
**James Garfield gave the first speech on the first Decoration Day.
**During World War I Decoration Day was changed to Memorial Day to commemorate all military men that died in American wars and not just those that died in the Civil War.
Show your love, support, and appreciation for those that have fallen defending us and the country that we live in.