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Memorial Day: A Day of Remembrance

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As Memorial Day becomes known more as a  day off work rather than a remembrance of our fallen military, we thought it would be in the best interest to give a brief history of the holiday. Memorial Day will be celebrated this coming Monday, May 25th as a National Day of Remembrance for our fallen heroes. How will you spend it? A BBQ with the family and friends seems to be the most common occurrence, but please remember to take a second to remember those who lost their lives fighting for our freedom.

Memorial Day, originally named Decoration Day, was created in 1868 as a way to recognize those soldiers who lost their lives during the Civil War. It was declared that May 30th would be the official date because it was NOT the anniversary of any particular battle. The first state to recognize this holiday was New York in 1873, followed by the rest of the northern states in 1890. The South did not accept the holiday until after World War I when it was officially changed to a holiday honoring those who have fought in any war. Around the year 1915, Moina Michael, in response to a poem, thought of the idea to wear read poppies on Memorial Day. Her contribution to what is called the “National Poppy Movement” is honored with a 3 cent red postage stamp showing her face and a poppy.

The traditional observance of Memorial Day starts with a flag raised to half-staff until noon, and then eventually  fully raised. On the Thursday before Memorial Day, soldiers place small American flags at every grave at Arlington National Cemetery. The area is then patrolled 24/7 to ensure that the flags are flying throughout the weekend. In the year 2000, as a way to remind us of the true meaning of the holiday, a resolution was passed asking that at 3 p.m. local time, Americans give a moment of silence and respect for our fallen heroes.

Happy Memorial Day from GOgroove! Everyone please have a safe weekend and remember to give a moment of silence and thanks for our fallen military.