Thursday, May 26

That blood of heroes never dies

Even after the South seceded from the Union, President Lincoln would not allow any stars to be removed from the flag.
I am ashamed of myself.

In my excitement for Saturday's Phoenix Comicon, I totally forgot what weekend it is.

Decoration Day or, as you now know it, Memorial Day.

First enacted to honor Union and Confederate soldiers following the Civil War,  it was extended after World War I to honor Americans who have died in all wars. 

In an article from the Associated Press (which began in 1846 as a way for five competing newspapers to cover the Mexican War):
CHARLESTON — The city that plunged the nation into its bloodiest conflict can also lay a claim to holding the first Memorial Day observance honoring the dead from the Civil War. 
In a little known event, as many as 10,000 people, many of them black, gathered May 1, 1865, to hold a parade, hear speeches and dedicate the graves of Union dead in what is now Hampton Park in Charleston. 

A number of towns around the nation claim holding the first Memorial Day, although the distinction generally goes to the town of Waterloo, in upstate New York. 

Waterloo held its first Memorial Day in 1866. 

In the North, in 1868, the commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, ordered the graves of the war dead be decorated with flowers and memorials. 

The 30th day of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet church-yard in the land. In this observance no form of ceremony is prescribed, but posts and comrades will in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit. 

Through the years Memorial Day was generally celebrated on May 30. Beginning in 1971, the federal holiday was designated as the last Monday in May.

So please, thank a vet for your freedom this weekend. 

1 comment:

  1. And thank you for your post. I learned a little something reading it!