Happy Memorial Day! The United States armed forces men and women are inspirational. Today we honor those that have given us the ultimate sacrifice by dying while defending and supporting the United States. Today is a federal holiday for remembering those who died while serving in the country’s armed forces.
The day began as Decoration Day after the American Civil War in 1868. Several cities claim to have held the first holiday and decorated the graves of the Union or Confederate, depending on location, dead to honor them. In the 20th century Union and Confederate holiday traditions merged and the holiday came to honor all Americans who died in military service. It is believed that a spring day for decorating graves followed by a potluck dinner actually began before the American Civil War, thus it was a “memorial day”. In 1966, President Johnson signed a presidential proclamation naming Waterloo, New York as the birthplace of Memorial Day. Other communities claim the holiday and have been recognized in Congress. General John A. Logan proclaimed the holiday “Decoration Day” on May 30, 1868. Michigan made “Decoration Day” an official state holiday in 1871. Ironton, Ohio claims the nation’s oldest running Memorial Day parade. Although, the Memorial Day parade in Doylestown, Pennsylvania predates it by one year, 1867.
Several Memorial Day customs have been practiced in the South since 1866. Ceremonies and speeches have occurred at Gettysburg National Park since 1868. Decoration Day became Memorial Day officially in 1967. In 1968, the Uniform Monday Holiday Act moved four holidays to Monday to allow for longer holiday weekends. Memorial Day became the last Monday in May in 1971. People are also inspired by the holiday that feel it marks the unofficial beginning of summer. Traditional events are held yearly to help celebrate the holiday. In 2000, Congress passed the National Moment Of Remembrance Act. People are supposed to stop what they are doing at 3:00 P.M. to remember and honor military sacrifice. The service branches to be honored are the United States Army, the United States Marine Corps, the United States Navy, the United States Air Force, and the United States Coast Guard.
Whatever your day brings, take time to honor and show love and respect to those who dedicate themselves to honor and defend the United States. Be inspired! Have a bright day!