Memorial Day

As we make plans for this upcoming Memorial Day weekend, let’s remember that it is more than just a long weekend.   It’s a time to come together as a nation and honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms.
The holiday began on a small level after the Civil War.  By the late 1860s, Americans in various towns and cities had begun holding springtime tributes to these countless fallen soldiers, decorating their graves with flowers and reciting prayers.   Waterloo, New York (near Seneca Falls among the Finger Lakes) first began celebrating the day on May 5, 1865.  General Lee surrendered the month before in April 1865.  In 1966, the federal government declared Waterloo as the official birthday of Memorial Day.
On May 5, 1868, General John A. Logan, leader of an organization for Northern Civil War veterans, called for a nationwide day of remembrance later that month. “The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land,” he proclaimed.
The date of Decoration Day, as he called it, was chosen because it wasn’t the anniversary of any particular battle.
On the first Decoration Day, General James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery, and 5,000 participants decorated the graves of the 20,000 Civil War soldiers buried there.
Unfortunately, the Civil War was not the last time U.S. soldiers died in defending our country.  With this in mind, please spend some time on Monday reflecting on the loss of life by Untied States citizens who died fighting in wars and securing the freedoms we often take for granted.
Happy Memorial Day.
0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

10 + seven =