Memorial Day: A day to remember

Real Estate Agent with Lincolnton, NC

As we celebrate Memorial Day this year with sports games, Bar-B-Ques and store sales lets not forget the reason for the day. Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service.

A brief history of the day: 

 There is evidence that organized women's groups in the South were decorating graves before the end of the Civil War. Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. It is now celebrated in almost every State on the last Monday in May (passed by Congress with the National Holiday Act of 1971 (P.L. 90 - 363) to ensure a three day weekend for Federal holidays). Several southern states have an additional separate day for honoring the Confederate war dead: January 19 in Texas, April 26 in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi; May 10 in South Carolina; and June 3 (Jefferson Davis' birthday) in Louisiana and Tennessee. 

Moina Michael conceived the idea to wear red poppies on Memorial day in honor of those who died serving the nation during war. She was the first to wear one, and sold poppies to her friends and co-workers with the money going to benefit servicemen in need. Shortly before Memorial Day in 1922 the VFW became the first veterans' organization to nationally sell poppies.

Today a lot of people forget the reason for the day and are immersed in the commercialization of the holiday. The graves of fallen veterans go without being honored. Veterans groups across the nation, with the help of volunteers, try to locate the grave-sites of our fallen veterans to place small flags of remembrance on them (a lot spend money out of pocket to purchase the flags without reimbursement). Contact your local veteran's group to see if you can help (either time or money) or take the time to place the flags at your local cemetery that may not be on their fallen veterans' list.

I am a 21 year Navy veteran. My grandfather served in the Army during WWI (carried a bullet in his leg until his death); two uncles who served during Korean War(one in Army stationed in Korea; other served in Navy stationed on Atlantic side); a cousin who served during Korean War in the Army on East coast; my Dad served in the Navy from 1944 - 1946, 1948 - 1987 {served in SE Asia, Korean War, Vietnam, Cuban Missile crisis (actually laid mines in Havana Harbor)}; there were also several ancestors who served during the Revolution and on both sides of the Civil War.

So remember this day as not a day to show the flag or a federal holiday or store sales but give thanks to those that chose to serve. Remember this: Some sacrificed a lot while others made the ultimate sacrifice. When you see a veteran shake his/her hand and say "thanks for your service" and not just when Memorial Day comes around.

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Jim Frimmer
HomeSmart Realty West - San Diego, CA
Realtor & CDPE, Mission Valley specialist

Hey, George - Hope you had a good Memorial Day, a good Flag Day, and lots of fun and food with family and friends on the Fourth. But don't forget to come back and Play in the Rain with us.

Jul 15, 2010 05:46 PM #1
George Wilson
Lincolnton, NC - Lincolnton, NC

Thank you for stopping by and hope you had a good holiday.

Jul 15, 2010 06:01 PM #2
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