Memorial Day – No New Posts
There will be no new documents posted on Monday, May 25, U.S. Memorial Day. The next post is slated for May 26.
We pause to remember the men and women who died serving our nation and preserving our freedom and way of life.
In this file:
· Memorial Day
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
· A Prayer for Memorial Day
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Memorial Day or Decoration Day is a federal holiday in the United States for remembering the people who died while serving in the country's armed forces. The holiday, which is currently observed every year on the last Monday of May, will be held on May 28, 2018. The holiday was held on May 30 from 1868 to 1970. It marks the unofficial start of the summer vacation season, while Labor Day marks its end. The holiday, from latest to earliest, is slightly more likely to fall on May 30, May 28 or May 25 (58 in 400 years each) than on May 27 or May 26 (57), and slightly less likely to occur on May 31 or May 29 (56).
Many people visit cemeteries and memorials, particularly to honor those who have died in military service. Many volunteers place an American flag on each grave in national cemeteries.
Memorial Day is not to be confused with Veterans Day – Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving, whereas Veterans Day celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans.
The practice of decorating soldiers' graves with flowers is an ancient custom. Soldiers' graves were decorated in the U.S. before and during the American Civil War.
Some believe that an annual cemetery decoration practice began before the American Civil War and thus may reflect the real origin of the "memorial day" idea. Annual Decoration Days for particular cemeteries are still held on a Sunday in late spring or early summer in some rural areas of the American South, notably in the mountain areas. In cases involving a family graveyard where remote ancestors as well as those who were deceased more recently are buried, this may take on the character of an extended family reunion to which some people travel hundreds of miles. People gather, put flowers on graves and renew contacts with relatives and others. There often is a religious service and a picnic-like "dinner on the grounds," the traditional term for a potluck meal at a church.
On June 3, 1861, Warrenton, Virginia was the location of the first Civil War soldier's grave ever to be decorated, according to a Richmond Times-Dispatch newspaper article in 1906. In 1862, women in Savannah, Georgia decorated Confederate soldiers' graves according to the Savannah Republican. The 1863 cemetery dedication at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, was a ceremony of commemoration at the graves of dead soldiers. On July 4, 1864, ladies decorated soldiers' graves according to local historians in Boalsburg, Pennsylvania. and Boalsburg promotes itself as the birthplace of Memorial Day.
In April 1865, following President Abraham Lincoln's assassination, commemorations were ubiquitous. The more than 600,000 soldiers of both sides who died in the Civil War meant that burial and memorialization took on new cultural significance. Under the leadership of women during the war, an increasingly formal practice of decorating graves had taken shape. In 1865, the federal government began creating national military cemeteries for the Union war dead.
A decoration day observance on May 1, 1865, in Charleston, South Carolina led historian David W. Blight to claim that "African Americans invented Memorial Day in Charleston, South Carolina", based on accounts in the Charleston Daily Courier and coverage by the New-York Tribune. In 2012, Blight stated that he "has no evidence" that the event in Charleston inspired the establishment of Memorial Day across the country. Accordingly, Snopes labeled the claim that the holiday began in Charleston "false."
In 1868, General John A. Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of Union veterans founded in Decatur, Illinois, established Decoration Day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the Union war dead with flowers. By the 20th century, various Union and Confederate memorial traditions, celebrated on different days, merged, and Memorial Day eventually extended to honor all Americans who died while in the military service.
On May 26, 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson designated an "official" birthplace of the holiday by signing the presidential proclamation naming Waterloo, New York, as the holder of the title. This action followed House Concurrent Resolution 587, in which the 89th Congress had officially recognized that the patriotic tradition of observing Memorial Day had begun one hundred years prior in Waterloo, New York. The village credits druggist Henry C. Welles and county clerk John B. Murray as the founders of the holiday. Snopes and Live Science discredit the Waterloo account.
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A Prayer for Memorial Day
On this Memorial Day, we pray for those who courageously laid down their lives for the cause of freedom. May the examples of their sacrifice inspire in us the selfless love of Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.
Bless the families of our fallen troops, and fill their homes and their lives with Your strength and peace.
In union with people of goodwill of every nation, embolden us to answer the call to work for peace and justice, and thus, seek an end to violence and conflict around the globe.
We ask this through your name.
- Author Unknown