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History of Memorial Day

Posted on May 28, 2010 under History of Memorial Day.


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, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic and was first observed on May 30, 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.

 The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it 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 just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war). It is now celebrated in almost every State on the last Monday in May.

My Dad fought in the Battle of the Bulge and to this day (although he doesn’t talk about it much), I marvel at what he endured, what he witnessed, and what he sacrificed (physically and emotionally).  The fact that when he came home he was expected to go back to work and carry on with his life as if he had just been on vacation for a few years just makes it even more surreal to me. 

I salute you Dad and love you for who you are and what you did.

Just saying ‘thank you’ seems grossly inadequate, but, to all our verterans:  THANKS!

Keep our troops in your prayers and as our brave men and women return from Iraq and Afganistan (sooner rather than later I hope), let’s each of us in our own way, see if we can’t help make their transition back to civilian life as fluid and positive as possible.


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