Memorial Day is a time of year when many Americans enjoy picnics, open their pools or flock to parks to enjoy the warm weather. However that is not really what Memorial Day is really about. Here are some fun trivia and little-known facts about this first warm weather holiday of the year for most of us.
Memorial Day began as Declaration Day. It was not a day to celebrate the return of the warm weather; it was a day to celebrate those people who died while fighting for our freedom in any of the branches of the United States military.
At first Memorial Day was created only to honor those who died in the Civil war, but as World War 1 occurred, all heroes lost to any war were also honored. The graves are decorated and cleaned up. In some communities repairs to headstones also occur on this day.
The last Monday is the day we celebrate it and our fallen heroes. Even though it became a nationally recognized holiday in 1971, it originated in the years following the Civil War. In those early years it was not celebrated on any certain days, in some southern sates a similar named event occurs on different days.
Several southern states celebrate their own Confederate Memorial Days according to the US Department of Veterans Affairs. In Texas for example, Confederate Heroes day occurs January 19. In Virginia it is celebrated, on the last Monday in May, while Mississippi celebrates it on the last Monday in April. Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Louisiana, and Tennessee also have spate days in which too celebrate, day
Waterloo, New York is the official birthplace of the Memorial Day celebrations. This town held the first memorial ceremonies on May 5, 1886. According to History.com website, this town held a community wide event where all business closed and the entire population went and placed wreaths and flags on all the gravestones of fallen soldiers.
Many southern and northern states claim that their towns started the tradition Memorial Day celebrations. Macon and Columbus Georgia, Richmond, Virginia along with Boalsburg, Pennsylvania and Carbondale Illinois each claim their town was first.
Currently Memorial Day is not only celebrated at cemeteries around the nation. There are also parades, events at organizations such as VFW, and nursing homes around the nation. This year as your family celebrates the return of warmer weather, be sure to include some time honoring those men and women who gave their lives to protect your freedom.