Like most Americans I’m counting the hours until the beginning of a glorious three day weekend. I’ve got plenty of grilling, sun and relaxation planned but there’s more to the holiday than early summer sun burns and free time. So, for a reminder of what the holiday is really about, keep these facts in mind as you enjoy your weekend.
1. Memorial day began during the Civil War as a way for those at home to honor the many soldiers who had given their life for either the North or the South. Many communities claim the first Memorial day celebration as their own but it probably began more or less simultaneously in many areas of the country.
2. Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, was popularized by General John Logan the leader of a veterans organization after the Civil War. Decoration day was meant to honor soldiers on both sides of the Civil War but by the time WWI was in full swing, Decoration Day was extended to include those who died in any U.S. war.
3. By now the soldiers of the 3rd Infantry will have begun decorating each grave in Arlington National Cemetery, most will have a small flag placed in front of the tombstone. But the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier will receive a wreath during the Memorial Day ceremony. Many communities throughout the country will hold parades and ceremonies to honor local soldiers.
Memorial day has come to mean many things, it’s a chance to get together and enjoy the return of warm weather with family and friends. But to remember the original reason we celebrate Memorial Day join people all around the country in a moment of silence at 3:00 PM local time to honor the men and women who have given their lives in service to our county.