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Did you know the history of the memorial day?
Did you know why it’s declared as a national holiday?
Did you know these interesting facts about the memorial day?
We think you should know these interesting and genuine facts about the Memorial Day if you a citizen of America then read it, also share it with your friends and office circle.
What Is Memorial Day?
Memorial Day is a American Holiday, which is currently observed every year on the last Monday of May, Originated as Decoration Day after the American Civil War in 1868, when the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of Union veterans founded in Decatur, Illinois, established it as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the Union war dead with flowers.
it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and participating in parades. Unofficially, it marks the beginning of the summer season.
Union General John Logan is often credited with founding Memorial Day. The commander-in-chief of a Union veterans’ organization called the Grand Army of the Republic, Logan issued a decree establishing what was then named “Decoration Day” on May 5, 1868, declaring it “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.”
Why Memorial Day Celebrate On Monday?
In 1971, Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act and established that Memorial Day was to be celebrated on the last Monday of May. Several southern states, however, officially celebrate an additional, separate day for honoring the Confederate war dead, sometimes referred to as a Confederate Memorial Day: January 19 in Texas; third Monday in Jan. in Arkansas; fourth Monday in Apr. in Alabama and Mississippi; April 26 in Florida and Georgia; May 10 in North and South Carolina; last Monday in May in Virginia; and June 3 in Louisiana and Tennessee.
Memorial Day is celebrated at Arlington National Cemetery each year with a ceremony in which a small American flag is placed on each grave. Traditionally, the President or Vice President lays a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. About 5,000 people attend the ceremony annually.
History Of Memorial Day?
Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in service of the United States of America. Over two dozen cities and towns claim to be the birthplace of Memorial Day. While Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966, it’s difficult to prove conclusively the origins of the day.
Regardless of the exact date or location of its origins, one thing is clear – Memorial Day was borne out of the Civil War and a desire to honor our dead. It was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11. “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.
The Richmond Times-Dispatch newspaper claimed in 1906 that Warrenton, Virginia, was the location of the first Civil War soldier’s grave ever to be decorated; the date cited was June 3, 1861. There is also documentation that women in Savannah, Georgia, decorated Confederate soldiers’ graves in 1862. The 1863 cemetery dedication at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, was, of course, a ceremony of commemoration at the graves of dead soldiers. In addition, local historians in Boalsburg, Pennsylvania, claim that ladies there decorated soldiers’ graves on July 4, 1864, and Boalsburg promotes itself as the birthplace of Memorial Day.
In 1966, former President Lyndon B. Johnson declared Waterloo, New York to be the official birthplace of Memorial Day. Then, in 1971, Congress established “Memorial Day” as an official federal holiday to honor all Americans who have fallen in U.S. Wars. In an article published in 2013 on Snopes.com, writer David Mikkelson used these official declarations, as well as the decree issued by Logan, to bolster his argument that African-Americans in Charleston probably should not be credited for establishing the holiday. He further noted that numerous other towns and cities claim to have created the first ceremonies. Yet, Mikkelson’s reasoning fails to account for the systematic and proven appropriation, erasure and distortion of African-American history by presidents, lawmakers, generals and scholars alike. The fact that the role of African-Americans is missing from the official record is precisely the problem. At the very least, the contribution of Black people in Charleston has been erased from the public narrative of Memorial Day and deserves to be recognized.
Traditional Observance On Memorial Day?
Cities and towns across the United States host Memorial Day parades each year, often incorporating military personnel and members of veterans’ organizations. Some of the largest parades take place in Chicago, New York and Washington, D.C.
Americans also observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries and memorials. On a less somber note, many people take weekend trips or throw parties and barbecues on the holiday, perhaps because it unofficially marks the beginning of summer.
The National Memorial Day Concert takes place on the west lawn of the United States Capitol. The concert is broadcast on PBS and NPR. Music is performed, and respect is paid to the men and women who gave their lives for their country.
Some Things About Memorial Day That You Should Know
- It started with the Civil War
- General Logan made it official
- It was first known as Decoration Day
- The holiday is a franchise
- It was James Garfield’s finest hour—or maybe hour-and-a-half
- Not even the Unknown Soldier can avoid media scrutiny these days
- Memorial Day and its traditions may have ancient roots.
- One of the earliest commemorations was organized by recently freed slaves.
- The holiday’s “founder” had a long and distinguished career.
- Logan probably adapted the idea from earlier events in the South.
- It didn’t become a federal holiday until 1971.
- More than 20 towns claim to be the holiday’s “birthplace”—but only one has federal recognition.
- Memorial Day traditions have evolved over the years.
Some Interesting Facts About Memorial Day
- The true origins of who held the first Memorial Day celebration is a debated subject.
- Approximately 620,000 soldiers on both sides died during the Civil War.
- The Grand Army of the Republic was created by the Union Army to honor their dead. After World War I the American Legion took over their duties.
- James A. Garfield delivered a rather lengthy speech at the first Memorial Day ceremony
- Waterloo, New York is considered the birthplace of Memorial Day
- Congress passed a law in 2000 that requires all Americans to stop what they are doing at 3pm on Memorial Day to remember and to honor those who have died serving the United States. President Clinton signed this action.
- The flag is supposed to be flown at half-mast until noon, and then raised to full mast until sunset on Memorial Day.
- More than 36 million people will travel at least 50 miles from home this Memorial Day
- The tradition of wearing red poppies on Memorial Day originated from John McCrae’s 1915 poem In Flanders Fields. In Canada they wear red poppies to honor their soldiers on Remembrance Day in November each year.
- Although not as popular today, one tradition was to eat a picnic meal while sitting on the ground of a cemetery. There are still some people in the rural areas of the South that continue to practice this tradition.
- It’s common for volunteers to place the American flag on graves in the national cemeteries. Memorial Day is also a popular day for people to visit cemeteries and honor those who have died while serving in the military.
- There are more than 300,000 fallen soldiers buried at Arlington Cemetery. On average, there are 28 burials there each day.
- There were more American lives lost during the Civil War then the two World Wars combined. Approximately 620,000 died during the Civil War while approximately 116,516 died in World War I and approximately 405,399 died in World War II.
- Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North and South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia celebrate Confederate Memorial Day. These are former Confederate states, and they celebrate on various other days ranging from January 19th to June 3rd.
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