Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day


In the United States, Memorial Day is a federal holiday celebrated on the last Monday of May. It was once known as Decoration Day. At first, it was a day to honor Union soldiers who died in the American Civil War. Later, it include soldiers who served in World War I.
In 1865, the North would decorate the soldiers’ graves. It was John Logan, the National Commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, who had all GAR posts celebrate “Decoration Day” on May 30, 1868. There ended up being events in 183 different cemeteries throughout the states.
At first the Memorial Day (1863) speeches were an occasion for veterans, politicians and ministers to commemorate the war and the atrocities of the enemy. Religion and patriotism were combined so that the people could make sense of the sacrifice their love ones made for a better nation. People of all religions joined together and most speeches from 1863-1870 made a point to say Germans and Irish (at the time, they were new immigrants to American soil) soldiers had become true Americans in the “baptism of blood” on the battlefield. By the end of 1870s, they began to praise the brave soldiers of the Blue and Gray. By 1950, the celebration was about world freedom.
Today many people observe the holiday by visiting cemeteries and memorials. Volunteers will place American flags on each gravesite at the National Cemeteries. A national remembrance takes place at 3 p.m. local time. Flying a flag of the United States at half-staff from dawn until noon local time has also become a tradition.
Many people celebrate at parks, attend parades and get together with friends and family. At my house on Memorial Day, we relax at home. We have a flag out front all year round, but we fly it half-staff on Memorial Day. My husband served in the Air Force and my two nephews are now serving in the National Guard.
I’m interested in knowing what you do on Memorial Day. If anyone reads this who lives in another country, do you have a day of remembrance for the men and women who served in your countries’ military?

6 comments:

Margaret Tanner said... Best Blogger Tips

Good morning from Australia.
Yes we do have two special days to remember our war dead. Remembrance Day (Armistice Day) on the 11th November, people buy and wear a red poppy in remembrance and there is a a minutes silence to commemorate when the Armistice was signed in 1918 to end the carnage of the 1st World War. Traffic is stopped at every major insertion in our cities, and at work, we usually stop and observe the minutes silence.
ANZAC day (25th April), is probably the most sacred day of the year for many people in Australia and New Zealand. It is a public holiday and we honour our fallen. ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army corps)day, was our baptisim of fire on the beaches of Gallipoli in Turkey. The ANZACS landed on the 25th April 1915, and under terrible fire and with many casualties they stormed ashore, and created a legend of bravery,endurance and mateship.
From a nation of only about 4 million people, Australia sent 360,000 volunteers to fight overseas, 68,000 were killed in action, over 100,000 wounded. Some small country towns were decimated because all their young men had been killed. A whole generation virtually wiped out.
Subsequent wars followed, so these brave service men and women are also remembered on ANZAC day.

Regards
Margaret

Karen Michelle Nutt said... Best Blogger Tips

Thank you, Margaret for stopping by and sharing your Remembrance days with us.

It's important that we don't forget those brave men and women.

Take Care,
Karen

zohra said... Best Blogger Tips

Hi Karen
Thanks for this, I was about to look it up on Wikipedia, but my own source of news popped up in the mail. In Canada of course we have Remembrance Day -11th November - which is now being recognized all around the world. I don't know if there's any special day in India and in Bahrain. Shall find out and let you now.
Rohini/ Zohra

MarthaE said... Best Blogger Tips

Thanks for a nice post Karen. Thanks also to Margaret and zohra for sharing your information. These are important days to remember for all of us.
I can't say that we do any special celebrating although sometimes we have a family barbecue. It was just quiet this year though.

Karen Michelle Nutt said... Best Blogger Tips

Zohra,

Thanks for stopping by. If you find out anything with India and in Bahrain, I would be interested in knowing. Thanks

Take Care

Karen Michelle Nutt said... Best Blogger Tips

Martha,

Thanks for stopping by. Quiet is sometimes nice. :)