Decoration Day was a Federal holiday created in 1868 by former Civil War Commander and Chief John A Logan. Logan issued General Order Number 11, designating May 30 as a day of Memorial to honor those who died in defense of their country.
The first celebration was held at Arlington National Cemetery. There's some controversy as to when Decoration Day became Memorial Day. In 1882, the name was changed to Memorial Day to honor all soldiers who died in service to the United States, but most people still called it Decoration Day until sometime after World War II.
Lyndon B. Johnson declared the official holiday to be Nationally observed annually the last Monday of May in 1966. The nation was divided then too. North wasn't fighting South, but there was much controversy and protest surrounding the Vietnam War.
Today, the national observance of Memorial Day still takes place at Arlington National Cemetary. A wreath is placed on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and every grave in the cemetery is decorated with a small American flag.
Memorial Day is not just a day to honor those who fell in battle but all soldiers of all wars who are no longer with us. Some came home heroes. Some were never recognized as such. But they all fought for their country and made sacrifices.
|The brave men & women who served in Iraq & Afghanistan|
Memorial Day is a day to remember former service personnel from all branches of the military who served in any war and are no longer with us. Whether they died in battle or peacefully in their sleep, they each made sacrifices for their country.
|Members of the Coast Guard who served|
at the US Lifesaving Station on
Portsmouth Island at the turn of the 20th Century
|Not all who served were Americans.|
|My father-in-law in Athens, Greece during the Korean War.|
So this Memorial Day,don't forget to remember a deceased soldier,sailor, airman (or woman) or marine.
|The USS Coral Reef 1952-1954: The Korean War|
|My Granduncle Vincent who served in WWII|
Thank you to those who served and are no longer with us. You will never be forgotten.