Originally called “Decoration Day”, the last Monday in May is now called “Memorial Day”. Did you know flags are flown at half-staff until noon when they are then raised to full staff?
The practice of decorating soldiers’ graves can be traced back to 1862 when women in Savannah, Georgia decorated the graves with flowers. In 1865 the federal government began creating National Cemeteries for our fallen soldiers and in 1868 the last Monday in May was proclaimed as “Decoration Day”, to be observed nationwide. Becoming widely referred to as “Memorial Day” after World War II, it wasn’t until 1967 that this nationally recognized day became officially named Memorial Day.
Most Americans celebrate the day with picnics, family gatherings and other festivities while others visit the graves of fallen soldiers to commemorate loved ones who made the ultimate sacrifice. The traditional National Memorial Day Concert is held annually on the west lawn of the Capitol Building in Washington, DC. This year, due to Tropical Storm Beryl, the concert was cut short.
Typically Memorial Day is celebrated as the beginning of summer as the day coincides with the warmer weather. Whatever your celebration, I hope you will take a moment to reflect on all those brave citizens who fought to preserve our freedom! Happy Memorial Day and thank you to all our men and women in uniform who serve our country!