For many this weekend is simply an extended three days away from work. But for others it’s a reminder of what they’ve lost and the sacrifices that have been made for freedom. Formerly known as Decoration Day, it originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the fallen Union Soldiers. The south too had its day of Decoration, but the date of celebration varied through out each region of the nation.
On June 28, 1968, Congress passed the Uniform Holidays Bill, which moved four holidays, including Memorial Day, from their traditional dates to a specified Monday in order to create a convenient three-day weekend. The change moved Memorial Day from its traditional May 30th date to the last Monday in May. The law took effect at the federal level in 1971.
From its origins, Decoration Day expanded with each passing year becoming more nationally recognized for all Veterans of the Armed Forces and from every war the United States participated in. The practice grew again after World War II when Decoration Day slowly transitioned to Memorial Day and included any family member that had passed. It became a day of remembering relatives and decorating cemeteries, whither or not they were service men and women. Many suggest the sacrifices that all Americans made during WWI and WWII to support our troops deserved recognition as well. Thus the day of honoring those who made sacrifices and lived through the hardships of war were included in Memorial Events.
Today Memorial Day is seen as one of the two biggest Patriotic Days of the year. Coming second only to the 4th of July. Flags are placed on grave sites of those who paid the greatest price for our freedom and flowers are laid by those we have lost and remember with memories and love.
What ever your method of celebration and honor this weekend, when you see a soldier thank them for their service. Let them know you appreciate their sacrifice and support them here and over there.
Blessings On this Memorial Day everyone. Please have a safe and relaxing extended weekend! And spend a few moments remembering what this weekend is about. – A deep and heart felt Thank You to all the Men, Women and Soldier Animals of our Armed Services, living and in spirit!
© 2012 Springwolf, D.D., Ph.D. Springwolf Reflections / Spring’s Haven, LLC. All Rights Reserved.