Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day History

Memorial Day History: "Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service. There are many stories as to its actual beginnings, with over two dozen cities and towns laying claim to being the birthplace of Memorial Day. There is also evidence that organized women's groups in the South were decorating graves before the end of the Civil War: a hymn published in 1867, 'Kneel Where Our Loves are Sleeping' by Nella L. Sweet carried the dedication 'To The Ladies of the South who are Decorating the Graves of the Confederate Dead' (Source: Duke University's Historic American Sheet Music, 1850-1920). While Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966, it's difficult to prove conclusively the origins of the day. It is more likely that it had many separate beginnings; each of those towns and every planned or spontaneous gathering of people to honor the war dead in the 1860's tapped into the general human need to honor our dead, each contributed honorably to the growing movement that culminated in Gen Logan giving his official proclamation in 1868. It is not important who was the very first, what is important is that Memorial Day was established. Memorial Day is not about division. It is about reconciliation; it is about coming together to honor those who gave their all."


George said...

With all the media focus on the oil fiasco in the Gulf, I'm glad you had a posting on Memorial Day History. Our service men and women should be honored today.

Richard Robinson said...

This holiday has become, for the majority of Americans, not about remembering service men and women, but just anyone who has died. I think that's unfortunate, but the general thought - not shared by me - is that it's Veteran's Day that's for the soldiers and this one for our departed loved ones. Not that it's bad to remember those, but it's not the original purpose.