28 May 2012

John 15:13

In the middle of all the car sales, parades, BBQ & beer, cookouts, I like to pause and remember the reason we enjoy this day off.   

Originally called Decoration Day, Memorial Day is a day of remembrance for those who have died in service to our country. 

It was first widely observed on May 30, 1868, to commemorate the sacrifices of Civil War soldiers, by proclamation of General John A. Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of former sailors and soldiers. 

During the first national celebration, General James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery, after which 5,000 participants helped to decorate the graves of the more than 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers who were buried there. This event was inspired by local observances of the day that had taken place in several towns throughout America in the three years since the Civil War. By the late 1800s, many more cities and communities had begun to observe Memorial Day, and after World War I, it became a occasion for honoring those who had died in all America’s wars.  

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.  

In 1971, Congress declared Memorial Day a national holiday to be celebrated on the last Monday of May.

John 15:13
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.


meleah rebeccah said...

Thank you for posting this Agg. Too many people often forget the REAL meaning of today.

ShadowRun300 said...

Well said, Agg. It's important to remember WHY we have the day off.

Rock Chef said...

Thanks for the mini history. Interesting that this is a "ground up" day rather than one that was decided upon by the government. Maybe that is why it seems to be so important to a lot of Americans.

terri said...

We're given too many reasons to forget the real meaning of the day. It's good to be reminded. Thank you! And thank you for your service to our fine country!