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Why We Observe Memorial Day

by Melissa Thompson


Memorial Day weekend has become a holiday weekend that people look forward to all winter and spring.  It is the de facto start of the summer season and it’s filled with cookouts, camping trips, and family gatherings.  But, it’s easy to forget the actual reason we observe Memorial Day when you’re sitting by the pool contemplating your summer vacation.  The historical significance of the day is much more than a three-day weekend filled with relaxation and celebration.

Memorial Day is a solemn day of remembrance for all who have died serving our country in the armed forces.  It began after the Civil War, which claimed more lives than any conflict in U.S. history, to honor the Union and Confederate dead, and was originally known as Decoration Day. By the late 1860s, Americans began holding springtime tributes to their fallen soldiers by decorating their graves with flowers and reciting prayers.  It soon became a nationwide date of remembrance held on May 30, 1868.  That date was chosen because it did not coincide with any particular battle.

Decoration Day gradually became known as Memorial Day and included military personnel who died in all wars.  It was observed on May 30th for decades until 1968, when Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which established Memorial Day as the last Monday in May so that federal workers would get a three-day weekend.  The same law made Memorial Day a federal holiday.

Across the United States cities and towns will host Memorial Day parades that include military personnel and members of veterans’ organizations.  Washington DC, New York City, and Chicago are known for hold some of the largest parades to commemorate this day. 

Even if you can’t make it to a parade, you can still observe the day by visiting cemeteries and memorials, or even just taking a moment of silence to thank those who have sacrificed their lives for our freedom.  

Memphis National Cemetery

Memphis National Cemetery on Memorial Day - Photo Credit: youtube.com

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

by Melissa Thompson

Home Of The Free, Because Of The Brave!

by Melissa Thompson

"To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…"--President Woodrow Wilson

So began President Wilson in November 1919, when he dedicated Armistice Day, November 11, to the cause of world peace and to honor the sacrifice of the US military after World War I. Nineteen years later, a legal holiday was officially signed into being, and in 1954, the name was changed from Armistice Day to Veterans Day to honor all veterans. Veterans Day differs from Memorial Day in that it celebrates living and dead US Veterans, and pays tribute to their sacrifices for the freedoms in this country.

Ceremonies, parades, and special events dedicated to honoring our veterans happen all over the country, and what better way to pay tribute than to attend an event in our local area?  See the links for more information!

All National Parks admission is free on Veterans Day Weekend

Military Appreciation Event with the Grizzlies
The U.S. Naval Academy Glee Club
Veteran’s Day Picnic

Happy Memorial Day!

by Melissa Thompson

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.

Memorial Day is an American holiday, observed on the last Monday of May, honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and participating in parades. Unofficially, it marks the beginning of the summer season.

National Moment of Remembrance

To ensure the sacrifices of America ’s fallen heroes are never forgotten, in December 2000, the U.S. Congress passed and the president signed into law “The National Moment of Remembrance Act,” P.L. 106-579, creating the White House Commission on the National Moment of Remembrance. The commission’s charter is to “encourage the people of the United States to give something back to their country, which provides them so much freedom and opportunity” by encouraging and coordinating commemorations in the United States of Memorial Day and the National Moment of Remembrance.

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. As Moment of Remembrance founder Carmella LaSpada states: “It’s a way we can all help put the memorial back in Memorial Day.”

Memorial Day, an American Holiday!

by Melissa Thompson

Memorial Day, an American holiday observed on the last Monday of May, honors men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and participating in parades. Unofficially, at least, it marks the beginning of summer.

Elmwood Cemetery Special Costume Twilight Tour!

by Your Key to Memphis Team

Elmwood Cemetery In honor of Armed Forces Day, Elmwood Cemetery is presenting a Special Costume Twilight Tour. The tour takes place this Saturday May 19th with tours beginning at 5 PM and again every ten minutes until 7 PM.  While on tour you will meet eight costumed actors, each telling a different story of their service to the United States. You will meet men and women that sacrificed their life for the freedoms that we often take for granted each day. Tickets are $15 per adult while children under 12 are free. You won’t want to miss this special tribute to the Memphis and Shelby county veterans buried at Elmwood Cemetery. 

Be sure to check out www.yourkeytomemphis.com for all of your Real Estate needs.

Displaying blog entries 1-6 of 6

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