Seeing a lot of Memorial Day sales ads? We are too. Let’s cut through the promotional clutter and pause to reflect on Memorial Day and why it’s important to us.
What is the Meaning of Memorial Day?
Memorial Day is a holiday to honor Americans who died during military service.
The website history.com has very helpful information about the distinction between Memorial Day and Veterans Day.
Many people confuse Memorial Day as being a day to honor all veterans. Memorial Day is the day to remember those who died while serving. All veterans are honored on Veterans Day — November 11 this year.
When Did America Start Recognizing Memorial Day?
The American history of honoring those who died in wars or conflicts dates back to the Civil War. According to history.com, an event held on May 1, 1865, was one of the earliest processions to honor fallen soldiers. A large contingent of freed slaves conducted that tribute.
What’s The Connection Between Flowers and Memorial Day?
Flowers have long been tied to Memorial Day in America. From the late 1880s, for many years, what we know as Memorial Day, was celebrated as Decoration Day when flowers were laid on the graves of soldiers. It’s said that the abundance of seasonal blooming flowers in late May is one of the reasons May 30 was the traditional Memorial Day.
When Did Memorial Day Become a Federal Holiday?
In 1971, Congress finally declared Memorial Day as a federal holiday to be recognized on the last Monday in May. Over the decades, Memorial Day, like many traditional holidays, seems to be celebrated more as a sales day than for its original somber purpose.
This weekend, let’s think about Americans who served in our military and selflessly gave their lives so that we can enjoy the freedoms and opportunities we have today.