Memorial Day is more than just a 3 day weekend or the official start of summer. Memorial Day was first observed in May 1868. Then known as Decoration Day, it was marked as a day to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers.
The modern Memorial Day is a day to remember the men and women who died while serving. It shouldn’t be confused with Veterans Day, which is a day to celebrate the service of all U.S. Military Veterans, living or dead.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Memorial Day Organization says there are many ways to properly observe Memorial Day:
- All Flags should be flown at half-staff until noon, then raised briskly to the top of the staff until sunset, in honor of the nation’s battle heroes.
- All are asked to participate in a National Moment of Remembrance at 3 p.m. to pause and think upon the true meaning of the day.
- Visit a local cemetery and place flags or flowers on the graves of our fallen heroes
- Visit a Memorial Day Memorial Service
- Fly the POW/MIA Flag
- Renew a pledge to aid the widows, widowers and orphans of our falled dead, and to aid the disabled veterans.
When General John Logan first observed Decoration Day in 1868 he said the following:
“We should guard their graves with sacred vigilance. All that the consecrated wealth and taste of the nation can add to their adornment and security, is but a fitting tribute to the memory of her slain defenders. Let pleasant paths invite the coming and going of reverent visitors and fond mourners. Let no vandalism of avarice or neglect, no ravages of time testify to the present or the coming generations, that we have forgotten as a people the cost of a free and undivided Republic. If other eyes grow dull, and other hands slack, and other hearts cold in the solemn trust, ours shall keep it well as long as the light and warmth of life remains to us.”
—General John Logan, General Order No. 11, May 5, 1868
We thank and honor every citizen who has given their life for our freedom this and every day. We wish you a safe and happy Memorial Day.