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Happy Memorial Day.

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by cbbr, May 25, 2006.

  1. cbbr

    cbbr 1 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    A History refresher.... Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day because it was a time set aside to honor the nation's Civil War dead by decorating their graves. It was first widely observed on May 30, 1868, to commemorate the sacrifices of Civil War soldiers, by proclamation of General John A. Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of former sailors and soldiers. On May 5, 1868, Logan declared in General Order No. 11 that:

    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. In this observance no form of ceremony is prescribed, but posts and comrades will in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit.

    During the first celebration of Decoration Day, General James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery, after which 5,000 participants helped to decorate the graves of the more than 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers buried in the cemetery.

    This 1868 celebration was inspired by local observances of the day in several towns throughout America that had taken place in the three years since the Civil War. In fact, several Northern and Southern cities claim to be the birthplace of Memorial Day, including Columbus, Miss.; Macon, Ga.; Richmond, Va.; Boalsburg, Pa.; and Carbondale, Ill.


    In 1966, the federal government, under the direction of President Lyndon Johnson, declared Waterloo, N.Y., the official birthplace of Memorial Day. They chose Waterloo-which had first celebrated the day on May 5, 1866-because the town had made Memorial Day an annual, community-wide event during which businesses closed and residents decorated the graves of soldiers with flowers and flags.


    Today, Memorial Day is celebrated at Arlington National Cemetery with a ceremony in which a small American flag is placed on each grave. Also, it is customary for the president or vice-president to give a speech honoring the contributions of the dead and lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. About 5,000 people attend the ceremony annually.

     
  2. 4by4bygod

    4by4bygod 1/2 ton status

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    Nice post..

    I was just remarking to my wife today that I notice you can't buy a calendar anymore with VJ, VE or Armistice day noted on it.

    I know those days were a long time ago, but it would be nice to not lump those historical dates into one all - purpose holiday because it's easier.

    Not saying all of those days needed to be a federal holiday, but maybe a few documentaries on prime time TV explaining their significance would be cool.

    Tom
     
  3. resurrected_jimmy

    resurrected_jimmy 1/2 ton status

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    There is a confederate cemetary in Galveston, TX that used to put confederate flags on the soilders graves until the citizens predominatly black population started a big uproar about how its was racist to support/honor them since the confederacy defended slavery. Ironicly Galveston is where june-teenth celebrations started and most of them don't even know what they day signifies
     

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