How Did Memorial Day Become a Holiday?
We all know that Memorial Day is a National holiday. While some say it's the official beginning of the summer season because pools and beaches usually open that day and stay open until Labor Day in September, I feel as though many don't know what Memorial Day is really all about.
According to memorialday.org There are many cities which claim to be the original home of this holiday. However, Waterloo, NY was officially declared the birthplace by General John Logan, the national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic in 1868. In his General Order Number 11 he stated:
The 30th 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 churchyard in the land.
General Logan chose the date because it wasn't the anniversary of any previous battle and he actually called it "Decoration Day".
General James Garfield began the first Decoration Day with a speech at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, DC. It was attended by more than 5,000 people who decorated 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers graves.
When you're celebrating the long weekend, please remember who gave everything so that we could be free. Give those brave men and women a moment of prayer and gratitude.