For Our Freedom That Many Of Us Take For Granted, For All Of The sacrifices That Were Given By Many, May We All Honor The Men And Women Who Have Served Our Country Proudly As We Celebrate This Memorial Day Holiday!
May 28, 2012
This Monday, May 28th is Memorial Day, which traditionally marks the start of summer, while Labor Day marks the end. Do you know why we celebrate this day?
Memorial Day is a time to remember the men and women who have given their lives serving in the armed forces. The holiday was originally created to honor the Union soldiers who had died while fighting in the Civil War. Here are some interesting facts about Memorial Day—some you may know, some you may not!
• Memorial Day was first observed on May 30, 1868 and was originally called “Decoration Day.”
• Memorial Day was originally created to honor Union soldiers who’d died while fighting in the Civil War. Because of this, southern states did not observe Memorial Day until after World War I, when the holiday was expanded to include soldiers from all wars.
• The red poppy is a traditional symbol of Memorial Day (many veterans wear them to commemorate the day).
• The poppy was inspired by a World War I-era John McCrae poem “In Flanders Fields”:
• The phrase “though poppies grow in Flanders fields” in the poem is thought by some to refer to the blood stains from shallow graves where soldiers were buried.
In Flanders fields the poppies blow Between the crosses, row on row, That mark our place; and in the sky The larks, still bravely singing, fly Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, Loved, and were loved, and now we lie In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe: To you from failing hands we throw The torch; be yours to hold it high. If ye break faith with us who die We shall not sleep, though poppies grow In Flanders fields.
• In 1924, an artificial poppy factory was created in Pittsburgh, PA, and employed veterans who needed work.
• Memorial Day observance peaked in the first part of the 20th century, when aged Civil War veterans attended parades in towns across America.
• On the Thursday before Memorial Day, soldiers from the 3rd U.S. Infantry (The Old Guard) place small American flags at each of the more than 260,000 gravestones at Arlington National Cemetery. They patrol the cemetery 24 hours a day during the weekend to ensure that each flag remains standing. This tradition, called “Flags In,” has been in place since 1948.
• In 1968, Memorial Day was moved from its traditional May 30 date to the last Monday in May in order to ensure a three-day weekend.
Please take a moment to honor those who served as you enjoy this holiday weekend with your family and friends.
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