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Lest We Forget… May 25, 2009

Posted by Michelle Knoll in Holidays.
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A friend of mine on Facebook brought out a good point today, and I thought I would write about it here.

Today is Memorial Day.  Do you know what we celebrate today?  Well, if you’re not sure, then let me tell you.

According to www.usmemorialday.org, Memorial Day was originally called “Decoration Day” and is a celebration to commemorate those who have given their lives in service to this country.  There are lots of theories as to where the practice of remembering fallen soldiers actually originated in this country.  I find it interesting that one theory places it in the South, even before the end of the Civil War, from women decorating the graves of fallen soldiers there.  Memorial Day was first celebrated on May 30, 1868, when flowers were placed on both Confederate and Union soldiers’ graves in Arlington National Cemetery.  Funny thing though: the South didn’t recognize the official day for some time, and would have their memorial services on other days. 

I like this quote from the website:

“To help re-educate and remind Americans of the true meaning of Memorial Day, the “National Moment of Remembrance” resolution was passed on Dec 2000 which asks that at 3 p.m. local time, for all Americans “To voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a Moment of remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence or listening to ‘Taps.””

I had NO idea that this had been passed! Did you know about this?  But I think it’s cool.  So from now on, I will make it a habit to pause at 3:00 PM to remember the fallen.

Now, most people get Memorial Day and Veterans Day mixed up.  Or they think that both days are meant as a commemoration to all the soldiers that ever served.  So let me share what Veterans Day is all about.

So what is Veterans Day, and how does it differ from Memorial Day?

According to http://www.military.com/veteransday/History.htm, Veterans Day was originally called “Armistice Day” and was set to commemorate all of the veterans that served in World War I.  It was to be celebrated on November 11, because that was the day that World War I officially ended.

The name of the holiday was changed from “Armistice Day” to “Veterans Day” in 1954 by the 83rd congress, after this country went through World War II and the Korean War.

According to this website:

“Memorial Day honors servicemembers who died in service to their country or as a result of injuries incurred during battle. Deceased veterans are also remembered on Veterans Day but the day is set aside to thank and honor living veterans who served honorably in the military – in wartime or peacetime.”

So there you have it.  Happy Memorial Day to everyone!  May we remember those that were slain during times of service to our great country.

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