Monday, May 26, 2008

Happy Memorial Day

Memorial Day weekend has become the kickoff for family BBQs, beach parties, and the opening of summer. Even though these things are very characteristic of American society, I wonder how many Americans really stop to remember why we get this 3 day weekend in May every year. So here is a little history lesson (hey, it's what I do! :) )

Memorial day was first called "Decoration Day" because it was a day for Americans to decorate the graves of the Civil War dead. It was first widely observed on May 30, 1868, to commemorate the sacrifices of Civil War soldiers, by proclamation of General John A. Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of former sailors and soldiers.

Although many cities both in the North and the South claim to be the birthplace of the holiday, in 1966, the federal government, under the direction of President Lyndon Johnson, declared Waterloo, N.Y., the official birthplace of Memorial Day. They chose Waterloo—which had first celebrated the day on May 5, 1866—because the town had made Memorial Day an annual, community-wide event during which businesses closed and residents decorated the graves of soldiers with flowers and flags.

By the late 1800s, many communities across the country had begun to celebrate Memorial Day and, after World War I, celebrations also began to honor those who had died in all of America's wars. In 1971, Congress declared Memorial Day a national holiday to be celebrated the last Monday in May.

Check out this video from YouTube about Memorial Day, and have a WONDERFUL Memorial Day!

Now go hug a Sailor (or Marine, Soldier, or Airman)- I know one you can hug haha! :)

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