Today initiates the Memorial Day holiday weekend in the United States.
With the current COVID-19 health crisis at hand, it will be a much different celebration than in previous years. I wonder how much celebrating will be happening around the country with our social distancing guidelines still in place in many parts of the US.
Memorial Day, which was originally called Decoration Day, was officially proclaimed on May 5th, 1868 and first observed on May 30th of that year when flowers were placed on the graves of both Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. This day of remembrance was set aside to commemorate those soldiers who gave their lives in the American Civil War.
There is rich history regarding how the fallen were remembered in the Union territories as compared to Confederate territories. But the common thread was that the graves of the fallen soldiers were decorated on a certain date each May and a “dinner on the ground” often followed the decoration ceremony.
By the early 20th century, Memorial Day evolved into a more general expression of remembrance of all the deceased who had served in the military, and in 1971 Memorial Day became an official federal holiday.
We reflect on the sacrifices of military personnel and the loss to their families even as we celebrate that the price of those losses results in continued freedom and a stronger nation.
Enjoy your holiday weekend! Be Safe and Healthy during these trying times and take a moment to reflect on those heroes from past wars and for those who fought a recent heroic battle with this deadly virus.
Thoughts? Comments? I’d love to hear them!