The Holiday Formerly Known as Decoration Day

Little Rock National Cemetery Photo courtesy of Clay.Wells & Flickr

Unfortunately, for most American’s, Memorial Day means little more than parades, picnics, and opening swimming pools.  Ask your children what this holiday is about.  Do they know?  Do you?

Before this holiday was renamed Memorial Day, it was known as Decoration Day.  It was a time for honoring the nation’s Civil War dead by decorating their graves.  It was first widely observed on May 30, 1868, to commemorate the sacrifices of Civil War soldiers.  After World War I, communities began to honor those who had died in all American fought wars.  Then, in 1971, Congress declared Memorial Day a national holiday to be celebrated the last Monday in May.  Presently, Memorial Day commemorates all U.S. men and women who have died while in military service.

As you gather this Memorial Day with friends and family around the BBQ, the beach or the pool, take time to remember all those Americans who have given their lives in the service of their country.  Honor those who have died fighting for our freedoms.  And maybe even decorate a fallen soldier’s grave.

~KM Fawcett

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One response to “The Holiday Formerly Known as Decoration Day

  1. This is a great reminder, Kathy. Thanks!

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