As we kick off our long weekend of celebrating Memorial Day, do we really know why and what we are celebrating for? Of course we all know this holiday is about commemoration veterans who gave their life for the United States of America and we also know that it falls on the last Monday of May, year after year, but do we know the true history about the holiday and how it became what it is today?
Here are some facts we all should know and keep in mind while we are firing up our grills and venturing out to our cookouts, participating in local parades, as well as any other celebrating we choose to partake in:
1.HOW DID MEMORIAL DAY START?
Memorial Day started as Decoration Day, created by General John Alexander Logan, to honor Union Soldiers killed in the Civil War by decorating their graves. It is believed this time of year was chosen due to the fact of flowers being in bloom, as that is what was used to decorate the graves.
2. WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MEMORIAL DAY AND VETERANS DAY?
There are many of us who do not know the difference between these 2 holidays and they are often confused. Memorial Day is for remembering and honoring military personnel who died in the service of their country, particularly those who died in battle or as a result of wounds sustained in battle. While those who died are also remembered, Veterans Day is the day set aside to thank and honor ALL those who served honorably in the military. In fact, Veterans Day is intended to thank LIVING veterans for their service.
3. HAS MEMORIAL DAY ALWAYS BEEN CELEBRATED ON THE SAME DAY?
NO! Memorial Day was celebrated on May 30th until Congress declared it a national holiday, stipulating that it was to be celebrated the last Monday in May in 1971 pursuant to the Uniform Monday Holiday Act.
4. WHAT CITY IS THE HOME OF MEMORIAL DAY?
There are many states that claim to be the home of Memorial Day, however, Congress and President Lyndon Johnson declared Waterloo, N.Y. the “birthplace” of Memorial Day in 1966, citing a community-wide event held there is 1866.
5.IS THERE A DESIGNATED TIME FOR REMEMBERENCE ON MEMORIAL DAY?
YES! President Bill Clinton signed the “National Moment of Remembrance Act” in 2000, declaring 3:00 p.m. local time to be the time for us all to stop and remember the fallen.
So there you have it! 5 facts that you can share with family and friends as you are celebrating this Memorial Day! We hope that this helps you understand why we are celebrating on the last Monday of May year after year!
And don’t forget….when 3 p.m. comes around on Monday, May 26th 2014, please stop what you are doing and take a moment of silence to honor all of those who have given their lives for our country, “THE LAND OF THE FREE AND THE HOME OF THE BRAVE”
In Honor of our service men and women Farmers Insurance offers special discounts to Active and Retired Military.