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History of Memorial Day: Why Celebrate Memorial Day?

Monday will be an annual federal holiday when the United States honors and mourns those who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.

Over a million Americans died in the war, per PBS. At one point during World War II, 12% of the U.S. population served in the military, today it is less than 1% of the population. In 1971, Remembrance Day was officially established as a holiday (established on the last Monday in May) to honor those who died in war.

The history of this holiday dates back to the Civil War in the 19th century.

One of the first celebrations of Memorial Day (later called Memorial Day) took place on May 1, 1865, one month after the Confederates surrendered to the Union. insider “More than 10,000 former slaves and white missionaries held a parade, and schoolchildren, members of the Black Union Battalion, and black religious leaders marched around Charleston’s racetrack,” it said.

An article in the New York Tribune details how participants listened to speeches by black ministers and sang songs such as “The Star-Spangled Banner.” insider. The graves of the soldiers were decorated with flowers.

new york times Around May 1865, he said, there were instances of flowers being laid at soldiers’ graves in a similar manner. Soon, Decoration Day, or Memorial Day, will be celebrated annually nationwide.

Three years later, General John A. Logan issued a proclamation to commemorate the sacrifice of Union soldiers who died during the Civil War, and to lay flowers and flags on their graves. PBS. He was a member of the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization for Union military veterans.

In the proclamation, Mr Logan said the day “should be established for the purpose of laying flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of our comrades-in-arms who died in defense of our country”. This has led to a national decoration day being held at Arlington National Cemetery, where many soldiers and leaders rest.

US Department of Veterans Affairs Officials in Washington, D.C., made a speech to announce that members of the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of Union veterans, and other participants laid flowers at the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers. 498,332 U.S. servicemen died during the Civil War. PBS.

Ohio State Senator and Union Major General James Garfield I was among the speakers. He said, “By the joyful suggestion of great society, such rallies are being assembled in all states within the Union at this hour. Thousands of soldiers today turn aside in the march of life, and once I am visiting the quiet camp of my dead comrades-in-arms with whom I fought.”

In the years that followed, the day changed from commemorating only those soldiers who died during the Civil War to commemorating all American soldiers who died in the war.

The day became known as Patriotic Day. new york times Quoting from an article published on May 31, 1870, the article states that, apart from Independence Day, “no other day evokes more national patriotism than ‘Remembrance Day’.” National holidays are not established by legislative enactment, but by “general consent of the people”.

Every May 30, leaders and participants gathered at Arlington Cemetery to hear speeches about fallen American soldiers.national leader of the abolitionist movement Frederick Douglass I was among those who spoke. He said, “The offerings we bring today are to be offered to the deceased Patriot soldiers and to their noble comrades who are still alive alike, for living and dead alike. For time and eternity, the loyal soldiers who risked all for their country and their liberty are one and inseparable.”

A celebration of the Day of Honor ensued. Northern states began adopting the holiday, and states had by 1890, according to the report. History.com. Until the end of World War I, Southern states celebrated Decoration Day on a separate day.

After World War I ended, the name of the holiday was changed from Decoration Day to Memorial Day.according to National World War I Museum and Memorial, the YMCA newspaper “The Daily Rumor” published a record of soldiers observing that day in 1918. The day included military parades, athletic competitions, baseball games between gendarmes and trench mortars, as well as speeches and songs.

By 1971, Remembrance Day had become a federal holiday and is still celebrated today. This holiday is commemorated in a similar way to its origin. Officials deliver speeches at Washington and Arlington National Cemeteries, as well as local cemeteries, while mourners and mourners lay flowers, wreaths, and flags at the graves of fallen servicemen.

In a speech at Arlington National Cemetery on the 100th anniversary of President Logan’s Honors Day Proclamation, then-President Ronald Reagan said: again. It’s a day to appreciate the courage of others and to remember the greatness of America and the American children and others who lie buried in this cemetery. Today is a memorable day to be with my family. ”

After telling the story of the fallen soldiers, President Barack Obama In 2015, he said: It reflects America itself. It reflects our history, the wars we waged for our democracy, the peace we made to protect our democracy. It is a reflection of our diversity, men and women of all backgrounds, races, creeds, circumstances and faiths, people willing to die for the ideals that unite us as one nation. is. ”

The day carries a lot of meaning and significance, especially for those who were closely related to those who died while on duty. Local VFW Post Commander Jeff Sherman said: ABC11 News“Let’s not forget the sacrifice each and every veteran who gave his life and what they did. I’m home. Some of my friends didn’t. As a nation, I beg of you.” It is extremely important that we never forget what you have done for us.”

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

If a soldier dies in combat, it may not be possible to identify them. As a result, the United States created the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery. In 1920, a World War I veteran, New York State Representative Hamilton Fish Jr. The proposed bill would be “an unnamed American who, in the latter part of the war, did not in itself represent any department, creed, or race, but moreover embodied the soul of America and the supreme sacrifice of the heroic dead.” It was intended to bring back the bodies of warriors.”

A tomb has been built and on it are painted three figures representing peace, victory and courage. The tomb itself is inscribed with the words, “God only knows that an American soldier rests here in honorable glory.” Today, unknown soldiers who have fought in several wars rest in the tomb, and guards watch over it.

A tomb guard walks 21 steps, faces east and marches for 21 seconds, then faces north for 21 seconds and walks 21 again. According to Arlington National Cemetery, “The number 21 symbolizes the 21-gun salute, the most iconic military honor bestowed.”

https://www.deseret.com/u-s-world/2023/5/28/23739258/history-of-memorial-day History of Memorial Day: Why Celebrate Memorial Day?

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