This is the day when we honor and mourn the military personnel who have died in the performance of their military duties while serving in the Armed Forces. This year it is celebrated on May 31st, 2021 in the US
Before 1970, this solemn day was observed on May 30th, but since then we observe it on the last Monday of the month of May.
Many of you might be visiting cemeteries and remembering those who served.
Others will be thankful to those who served and helped keep , send love to their families and unofficially celebrate the start of the summer season, which I am sure we are all looking forward to.
Barbara Maranzani, in an article in History.com tells about 8 things that you might not know about Memorial Day.
I’d like to share the highlights:
1 – The first commemorative Memorial Day events were only held in the 19th century, but the practice of honoring those who have fallen goes back in time to the ancient Greeks.
2 – It was General John Logan, commander in chief of the Union veterans’ group known as the Grand Army of the Republic, who issued a decree indicating that May 30 should become a nationwide day of commemoration for the over 620,000 soldiers killed in the Civil War. Logan suggested to lay flowers and decorate graves.
3 – Only in 1971 it became a Federal Holiday
4 – For the first 50 years, the commemoration was limited to the Civil War dead. Only after the 1st World War, the commemoration was extended to all of those killed in wars.
5 – Did you know that there’s a Uniform Monday Holiday Act that went into law in 1968?
6 – The name of Memorial Day started being used in the 1880s, but at the time the holiday was officially known as “Decoration Day”
7 – It’s unclear which town was the first one to recognize the day but President Lyndon Johnson signed legislation declaring the tiny upstate village of Waterloo, New York, as the official birthplace
8 – There’s a tradition of wearing a red poppy on Memorial Day, that began with a World War I Poem
9 – On Memorial day, the American flag should be hung at half-staff until noon, then raised to the top.
10 – All Americans are encouraged to pause for a National Moment of Remembrance at 3 p.m local time for a minute of silence.