Monday, May 30, 2011

What is Memorial Day...

   What is Memorial Day? To many people, Memorial Day means a  3 day weekend, picnics, bar-b-q's, and SALES.

   When I was growing up it meant the official start of 3 whole months of Summer Vacation. School ended at Memorial Day and didn't start back until Labor Day. Family vacations were scheduled and planned. Now school doesn't let out until the first of June and starts back the middle of August. So much for getting in that extra day of Family time.

   But is that all Memorial Day means?

   No. That is not how it started out. My Grandfather was a marine in World War II, so I knew it had something to do with the remembering the dead. We would meet up with my relatives and all go to the cemetery to place flowers on the graves of our relatives.  My parents would point out the graves of great Aunts and Uncles, Grandparents and cousins. They would share stories about them and their lives. It was interesting, but hey, I was a kid that wasn't as exciting as the beach. Now I wish I had paid closer attention.

   Later on I found out that Memorial Day was actually to honor our service men who paid the ultimate sacrifice, and died for their family and their country. Veteran's Day is to honor all who served, but Memorial Day is for remembering those who died.
   Memorial day was originally called Decoration Day, and was started after the Civil War to honor the soldiers who had died. It was an unofficial ceremony that grew thought out the United States, until 1868 when General John A. Logan gave an official proclamation. The proclamation was made on May 5, 1868 and the first official holiday was May 30th, 1868.

   Decoration Day was changed to Memorial Day after World War I, when it became the day to honor all military who had died in any war.

   So in honor of those who fought and died for their families, beliefs and country I am posting these songs.

   This one was written and sung by Ssgt. Barry Sadler a medic in the Green Berets...

   This one was written by the grandson of Sgt. Charles Stuart MacKenzie, a member of the Seaforth Highlanders during World War 1, who died by bayonet while protecting a fallen friend....

   This one is dedicated to all military men and women. I have to warn you you will need another hankie for this one....

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Lori said...

Thanks for your comment on my post - Blogger isn't allowing me to reply there - so I thought I'd come here! And while I'm here to say that it is good to see reminders like this to appreciate those who have stood up for us in the services.

Home In The Hollow said...

Too many people do not remember what the day stands for!...:)JP

Canadianbloggergirl said...

Thank you for the information. Being Canadian, even though I knew that Memorial Day was a way to remember, it did clarified a few things for me.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'm from a military family, so I understand the importance of Memorial Day.

L'Aussie said...

I hope Memorial Day was awesome to Americans. Thanks for this post PJ. Now I understand a bit more. Somewhat like Australia's ANZAC Day which is huge here.


Laura said...

Interesting post - being British and having out Memorial day on 11/11, I was unaware of your holiday

Theres just life said...

Lori, Don't you just love blogger. It hasn't let me comment on a couple of site.
JP, I know that is why I felt compelled to write this.
CBG, You are welcome. Nice to see you around again. Hope you are settled in your new home.
Alex, As soon as I was old enough I knew as well. But a lot of people don't seem to.
Denice, Thanks for dropping by. I am looking forward to your stories this week.
Laura, We celebrate Veteran's Day in November. Thanks for stopping by.

Manzanita said...

I never got around to everyone in the A-Z. This is a post paying honor to those who serve our country. So few people know it was once called Decoration Day. Nice to get to know you.