Today, we extend our gratitude to all of our service men and women who have – and continue to – put our country before themselves to defend the way of life we are able to live today. This dedication will always and forever be appreciated. Today – we honor you.

At 3 pm today, everyone is encouraged to participate in a moment of remembrance.

Here are some facts about Memorial Day

The Civil War took more lives than any other combat in USA history. Sometime in the 1860’s, cities began to hold ceremonies to honor the many fallen soldiers.

According to www.history.com, it’s not exactly clear where the tradition began…”Numerous different communities may have independently initiated the memorial gatherings. Nevertheless, in 1966 the federal government declared Waterloo, New York, the official birthplace of Memorial Day. Waterloo—which had first celebrated the day on May 5, 1866—was chosen because it hosted an annual, community-wide event, during which businesses closed and residents decorated the graves of soldiers with flowers and flags.”

Evolution of Memorial Day

Memorial Day, as Decoration Day gradually came to be known, originally honored only those lost while fighting in the Civil War. But during World War I the United States found itself embroiled in another major conflict, and the holiday evolved to commemorate American military personnel who died in all wars.

For decades, Memorial Day continued to be observed on May 30, the date Logan had selected for the first Decoration Day. But in 1968 Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which established Memorial Day as the last Monday in May in order to create a three-day weekend for federal employees; the change went into effect in 1971. The same law also declared Memorial Day a federal holiday.


(www.history.com)

What is your town or city doing today to remember our fallen soldiers? For a complete list of memorial day parades around the US, click here.

Did you know?

* It is a custom to fly the flag at half staff until 12 pm the day of Memorial Day, then to rise it to the top of the staff until the sun goes down!

And an interesting fact….this, thanks to www.cnn.com:

Taps – the 24 note bugle call – is played at all military funerals and memorial services. It originated in 1862 when Union Gen. Dan Butterfield “grew tired of the ‘lights out’ call sounded at the end of each day,” according to The Washington Post. Together with the brigade bugler, Butterfield made some changes to the tune.

Not long after, the melody was used at a burial for the first time, when a battery commander ordered it played in lieu of the customary three rifle volleys over the grave. The battery was so close to enemy lines, the commander was worried the shots would spark renewed fighting.

The World War I poem “In Flanders Fields,” by John McCrea, inspired the Memorial Day custom of wearing red artificial poppies. In 1915, a Georgia teacher and volunteer war worker named Moina Michael began a campaign to make the poppy a symbol of tribute to veterans and for “keeping the faith with all who died.” The sale of poppies has supported the work of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

What is your town or city doing today to remember our fallen soldiers? For a complete list of memorial day parades around the US, click here.

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