True Meaning of Memorial Day
Do you know the actual meaning of Memorial Day? You know, the three-day weekend that kicks off our summer holidays here in the United States. Barbecuing, heading to the beach and the feeling of joy and carefree living settles in this last Monday in the month of May. This festive holiday commences our official summertime season.
But… what is the true meaning of Memorial Day?
Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is the most solemn America holiday. This is the day when we recall those Americans that made the ultimate sacrifice. They gave their lives to protect and defend our nation.
The Civil War claimed the lives of over 600,000 soldiers. No town or village did not feel the impact of this event. As the war finally came to an end relatives, friends and neighbors started placing American flags on the gravestones of the fallen heroes.
The town of Waterloo, New York is said to have officially started this memorial as the local shop owners and innkeepers closed their business on May 5 to commemorate a day of sacrifice.
May 30 is recognized as the official date of the memorial when 5000 war widows and their children placed flags and memorabilia on the graves of those at Arlington National Cemetery. Over 20,000 soldiers, both confederates and unionists were honored at this time… their differences set aside.
Throughout the 18th century, Memorial Day grew. Commemorative events took place nationwide at the sites of battlefields. Sadly the differences between both the north and south still existed, and memorials took place on different dates.
Until, it is said ….
World War I when the country lost over 130,000 soldiers in this worldwide tragedy. The country united… finally and celebrations by all our citizens were grounded in the realization that many lost their lives in the defense of freedom.
Surprisingly, Memorial Day only became an official holiday in 1971.
Happy Memorial Day to all, and let us not forget the real reason behind the celebrations.