Monday, May 30

Memorial Day

First off I want to wish everyone a blessed Memorial Day particularly to all the loved ones of those who have perished protecting our freedoms. They have sacrificed so much for us and let us never forget how blessed we are today because of the men and women who have sacrificed to fight for the sake of our country and the freedoms presented to us. Secondly to all of those who have served or are currently served, Thank You!!! I am so blessed in what you are doing, and just want to honor you and offer my gratitude for all you have and continue to do for our country.
Now I wonder who really knows any of the history of Memorial Day, when and where it originated or why? Sadly not too much is known by the vast majority of people and it has become little more than a day off to picnic and enjoy the begging of summer. So let me reveal some facts for you.

So Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day originates back May 30th 1868, and was established in response to the loss of American lives in the Civil war. Although many places celebrated in a similar way 1868 was the first year that it was officially recognized as a holiday (was first declared a holiday May 5th 1868). The designated purpose of this holiday was to decorate graves of those that had died in defense of their country with flowers. 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 (passed by Congress with the National Holiday Act of 1971 (P.L. 90 - 363) to ensure a three day weekend for Federal holidays).
Waterloo, NY, oddly enough has been declared as the “birthplace” of Memorial Day in 1966 by Congress and then by President Lyndon Baines Johnson. Although a number of cities, argue Memorial Day/ Decoration Day and it's difficult to prove conclusively the origins of the day. It is more likely that it had many separate beginnings; each of those towns and every planned or spontaneous gathering of people to honor the war dead in the 1860's tapped into the general human need to honor our dead.

Traditional observance of Memorial day has diminished over the years. Many Americans nowadays have forgotten the meaning and traditions of Memorial Day. At many cemeteries, the graves of the fallen are increasingly ignored, 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" resolution was passed on Dec 2000 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." The Moment of Remembrance is a step in the right direction to returning the meaning back to the day. What is needed is a full return to the original day of observance. Set aside one day out of the year for the nation to get together to remember, reflect and honor those who have given their all in service to their country.

So in honor of our beloved soldiers, Thank you and thank you to all the friends and family for making our country so great. God Bless, and let us not forget those that gave there lives for our freedom nor the real reason for this Holiday.

No comments:

Post a Comment