American Memorial Day (originally known as Decoration Day) first began as a tribute to fallen Civil War soldiers. Various towns throughout America had been honoring their lost veterans for several years after the official end of the war. However, it was first widely recognized and celebrated on May 30, 1868, by proclamation of General John A. Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic.
“In 1966, the federal government, under the direction of President Lyndon Johnson, declared Waterloo, N.Y., the official birthplace of Memorial Day. They chose Waterloo—which had first celebrated the day on May 5, 1866—because the town had made Memorial Day an annual, community-wide event during which businesses closed and residents decorated the graves of soldiers with flowers and flags.”In 1971, US Congress declared that Memorial Day would be observed as a national holiday, which would be celebrated on the last Monday in May. And after World War I, many communities across America began to use Memorial Day to honor those soldiers who died in all of America’s wars.
Please take a moment today to say some words of thanks to all soldiers, living or dead, who have fought bravely and sacrificed so much to protect our freedoms.