Today, May 31st, the last Monday many American’s across our nation remember the brave men and women who gave their lives for our country. Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971.
In four years of fighting, more than more than 622,000 Americans, from the North and the South, had died. The government established national cemeteries for the Union fallen, while cemeteries were established in cities and towns across the country. With those cemeteries came mourners, they decorated the graves of their fallen heroes with flowers, they recited prayers, they held tributes. It began as a very solemn day.
The modern Memorial Day observance began with the end of the Civil War and has evolved into many different types of remembrance. Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries and memorials. Some people wear a red poppy in remembrance of those fallen in war—a tradition that began with a World War I poem, and some choose to spend time to attend memorial remembrance events.
We hope you have a peaceful weekend, whether you plan to observe the holiday with a parade, a service, or a moment of silence.
“Heroism doesn’t always happen in a burst of glory. Sometimes small triumphs and large hearts change the course of history.”
– Mary Roach