Saturday, May 24, 2008

Happy Memorial Day

This is a picture that I took last year on Memorial Day of our whole gang (including our dog!) We were heading home from a weekend at my parent's cabin and drove through Gettysburg, PA right as they were preparing to start their Memorial Day parade. We picked out a spot on the curb and sat and watched the entire parade. It was a really nice, old fashioned, community parade. I know that Memorial Day is supposed to be about honoring those who died in the service, but it seems in my life, to have evolved into nothing more than a 3 day weekend, where we have cookouts, parades, and go to the swimming pool because it is fianlly open for the season.

I thought I'd take a few minutes to share with you some interesting information I came across about Memorial Day and it's meaning and history. This is one of those pieces of American History that it seems I know very little about.  This morning, I took a few minutes to look up the history of Memorial Day and here's what I found.

"Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service.

Memorial Day is about reconciliation; it is about coming together to honor those who gave their all. Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on May 5, 1868, by General John Logan, and was first observed on May 30, 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetary. By 1890 Memorial Day 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 those who died fighting in the Civil War, to honoring Americans who died fighting any war.

Originally Memorial Day was celebrated on May 30. In 1971 Congress passed an act moving the holiday to the last Monday in May to ensure a 3 day weekend for the Federal Holiday. In the past, red poppies were worn and flags were flown to honor the fallen soldiers."

So, on this Memorial Day, fly your flag, and take a few minutes to think about and pray for the families of all of the brave men and women who've lost their lives so that we may be free.