Did you know that this coming Monday used to be called Decoration Day? Few people are even aware of that nowadays, but that’s only because few of us have ever been told. You see, Memorial Day used to be a special time set aside for Americans to visit the cemeteries. While there, they would decorate the graves of those who had given their lives in service to this country.
My grandmother and my mother shared that information with me early on. But there’s a reason for that. Memorial Day used to be celebrated only on May 30, and as that is my date of birth, each year my grandmother or mother would remind me of the holiday and it’s meaning. Which of course I loved. They would always say, “You were born on Traditional Memorial Day.” But, as the government is known to do, the powers that be moved Memorial Day to the last Monday in May so that federal folks could have a 3-day holiday. And now, all of us enjoy the decision they made. Within time however, the true meaning was lost
So, I went to Wikipedia to see what they had to say. And here is what I found…
Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday observed on the last Monday of May. Formerly known as Decoration Day, it commemorates U.S. men and women who died while in the military service. First enacted to honor Union soldiers of the American Civil War (it is celebrated near the day of reunification after the civil war), it was expanded after World War I to include American casualties of any war or military action
I’ll share more about the traditional observance of the day later this week. See you then