Memorial Day: Honoring the Memories of Fallen Soldiers
Each year, we mark Memorial Day with celebrations, often acknowledging the holiday as the beginning of summer. We break out the grills (for those outside the South; most of us in the South never put the grill away), rush to concerts, or simply enjoy another day off. But how many of us actually recognize the day for which it is intended?
Originally called Decoration Day, from the early tradition of decorating graves with flowers, wreaths and flags, Memorial Day is a day for remembrance of those who have died in service to our country. It was first widely observed on May 30, 1868 to commemorate the sacrifices of Civil War soldiers, by proclamation of Gen. John A. Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of former Union sailors and soldiers.
During that first national commemoration, former Union Gen. and sitting Ohio Congressman 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 who were buried there.
During our numerous gatherings, does anyone even take a moment of silence for fallen soldiers? If not, make this year the time you do.
Though there's no way for us to know each service member whose memory affects our listening audience, we would like to share in your honoring of them. Please tag us in your memorials, and feel free to send pictures with descriptions to us, using the feedback option on our app or by text.