What’s the Big Deal About Memorial Day?

Happy Memorial Day. You probably know, this is a day to commemorate the veterans who’ve sacrificed to pay the price for the freedoms we enjoy in the U.S.

Did you know…

  • Memorial Day was originally called “Decoration Day”? The name comes from the fact that the graves of soldiers were decorated by family and survivors.
photo credit: robin ... via photopin cc

photo credit: robin … via photopin cc

  • Decoration Day was the idea of General John Logan, a leader of a Civil War Veteran’s Association. The first Decoration Day was held on May 30, 1868, chosen because no battle was fought on that day.
  • The origins of Memorial Day date back to the Civil War, when more lives were lost than any other war in U.S. history.
  • Waterloo, New York, which held it first celebrations of the day in 1866, was named the birthplace of Decoration Day by the federal government.
  • Decoration Day evolved into Memorial Day and was gradually extended to include all American military personnel who died in different wars.
  • The day became an official national holiday in 1971.
  • An official observance on Memorial Day is the moment of remembrance, a minute of silence at 3 p.m. on Memorial Day. This became law in 2000.

My dad, my father-in-law and my uncle all served in the Air Force, and I am forever grateful for the stories they tell of being part of this tradition.

So, as you enjoy your day off today, remember the origins of this special day, and thank someone who served in the armed forces for paying the price to enable us to stay free.

What’s the Big Deal About Memorial Day?