Did you know that Memorial Day was originally a response to the Civil War? The effects of the Civil War were unprecedented for this country. Each community across our great nation was impacted by the loss of life. Women began placing flowers on the graves of the dead or decorating the tombstones of the fallen. Civil War veterans also marched through towns in memory of the fallen. It was originally called Decoration Day.
It was in Waterloo, New York that an annual day of community service began on May 5, 1866 to commemorate a Memorial to the fallen. Just two years later, Major General John A. Logan, commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, made Memorial Day official by issuing General Orders No. 11 marking May 30, 1868 as the Official Memorial Day Holiday.
Memorial Day is actually a federal holiday for federal employees or those veterans drawing a government paycheck. The distinction allowed these individuals to celebrate and remember the fallen without losing pay. Memorial Day is actually acknowledged as a holiday for civilians based on a state-by-state approval. New York was the first state to mark Memorial Day as an approved holiday. The southern states actually didn’t adopt Memorial Day until after World War I. It wasn’t until the year 1971 when Memorial Day was moved to fall on the last Monday of May annually.
Regardless of the history, it is important on Memorial Day to reflect on the valiant and brave men and service women who have sacrificed everything to protect those freedoms we hold sacred in our country. Looking for something fun that your family can do for Memorial Day this year? Consider:
- Visit a local historical battlefield or museum of military history and learn how the actions of America’s finest propelled our freedom and liberty.
- Attend a local Memorial Day concert or parade or tune into the National Memorial Day Concert.
- Spend the afternoon with a neighbor who served and learn about their experiences and love for America.
- Make a contribution to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs which provides vital services to America’s veterans.
- Send a care package to honor a current service person. Visit Support Our Troops to learn more.
- Plan a family outing to a ballpark, seaside location, or state park and relish in the beauty of America and reflect on those who fought to protect your opportunity to enjoy our country’s resources.
On behalf of the entire team at Pest Control Insulation, we are grateful for the men and women who have made American the land of the free and home of the brave.
Happy Memorial Day from our family to yours.