Monday, May 30, 2016

We used to call it 'Decoration Day'

Growing up in the 1950's, my folks always called what we now know as Memorial Day, Decoration Day. I'm guessing they both grew up knowing this special day as Decoration Day, not Memorial Day. Both my parents were veterans of the Second World War.

Memorial Day History

"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.

The first large observance was held that year at Arlington National Cemetery, across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C.

The ceremonies centered around the mourning-draped veranda of the Arlington mansion, once the home of Gen. Robert E. Lee. Various Washington officials, including Gen. and Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant, presided over the ceremonies. After speeches, children from the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Orphan Home and members of the GAR made their way through the cemetery, strewing flowers on both Union and Confederate graves, reciting prayers and singing hymns."

Read more here:

Memorial Day is not to be confused with Veterans Day; Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving, while Veterans Day celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans.

I have one family member who died serving in the War between the States; my 2nd Great Grandfather Hiram Collins, who died while serving with The 14th Kentucky Volunteer Infantry Company K, Union Army, he succumbed to typhoid fever. I haven't been able to find where he is buried. He served along side his 1st cousin Allen Collins, son of Joshua Collins.

The National Moment of Remembrance encourages all Americans to pause wherever they are at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day for a minute of silence to remember and honor those who have died in service to the nation.

Memorial Day
Today is Memorial Day.
We're paying tribute to those who died for the USA.
Many soldiers died so that we can be free.
It means a lot to you and it means a lot to me.
Some fought with guns, others fought with tanks.
They gave everything for us and I give my thanks.
  Randy Johnson

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