But the day isn't just a day to kick back, relax and have fun. There are many parades and events honoring those who have given their lives for this country.
Last year I walked in the local Memorial Day Parade with our Elks Lodge. This year it was 40 degrees and raining, so I opted not to. But here are some photo's of this year's parade. My hubby has the aqua umbrella.
I saw this quote on the New York Times on Sunday:
QUOTATION OF THE DAY
"If I knew the story of every individual who went through here, I would probably be in a padded cell."WILLIAM ZWICHAROWSKI, the Dover Port Mortuary branch chief, who prepares the remains of United States military personnel for burial.
A bit of history from the U.S. Department of Veteran's Affairs:
Three years after the Civil War ended, on May 5, 1868, the head of an organization of Union veterans — the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) — established Decoration Day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. Maj. Gen. John A. Logan declared that Decoration Day should be observed on May 30. It is believed that date was chosen because flowers would be in bloom all over the country.
By the end of the 19th century, Memorial Day ceremonies were being held on May 30 throughout the nation. State legislatures passed proclamations designating the day, and the Army and Navy adopted regulations for proper observance at their facilities.
It was not until after World War I, however, that the day was expanded to honor those who have died in all American wars. In 1971, Memorial Day was declared a national holiday by an act of Congress, though it is still often called Decoration Day. It was then also placed on the last Monday in May, as were some other federal holidays.
I also found another website dedicated to explaining and educating us about Memorial Day: www.usmemorialday.org I copied the following there:
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." The Moment of Remembrance is a step in the right direction to returning the meaning back to the day. What is needed is a full return to the original day of observance. Set aside one day out of the year for the nation to get together to remember, reflect and honor those who have given their all in service to their country.