May. 30, Memorial Day for many Americans, serves as the day of hot dogs, hamburgers, swimming pool, and basically, summertime. But this last Monday of the month also serves as an important day to honor the ones who have died in the American Armed Forces. It is the day that is steeped in American history and tradition.
History of the Memorial Day
In the year 1865, in spring, the Civil War had ended, and more than 620,000 soldiers had died in the conflict of four years. Gen. John A. Logan of Grand Army of an organization of the Union veterans, called Republic, had selected May 30th, 1868, to pay tribute to the ones fallen.
He had chosen this day since the flowers would be in all bloom across the country. By the end of the 19th century, Memorial Day ceremonies started to be held on the 30th of May all across the nation. States had passed proclamations, and both the army and the navy adopted rules to observe at their facilities properly.
The crowd that attended the first Memorial Day ceremony at the Arlington National Cemetery was about the same size as the one who attended even today, which is around 5000 people. Even then, as today, small American flags had been placed on every grave, which is a tradition that has been followed at several national cemeteries even today. Also, in recent years, this custom has grown in several families in which they decorate the graves of their loved ones that have departed.
By the year 1890, every northern state made Decoration Day an official holiday. However, it was not the case for the southern states since they continued to honor their people on different days until after World War I got over.
30th of May held on for several decades. However, in the year 1968, Congress had passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. This is what established Memorial Day as the last Monday in the month of May for creating a three-day weekend for all the federal employees. This change took place in the year 1971, and the same law declared Memorial Day as a federal holiday.
Ways to decorate for the Memorial Day
There are many ways in which you can adorn over your loved ones and your home for Memorial Day. Given below are a few patriotic ideas that you can look forward to—the deceased veterans like several mini flags in your front lawn or entryway.
- Unfurl the flags. Many times people tend to store their American flags and raise them only when there is a patriotic holiday. Well, this is surely one of those days.
- Line the walkway with several mini flags. Nothing would honor
- Make a red, white, and blue colored layered cake. Or you can get one too. It is a fun decoration that you can eat as well!
- Wear stars and stripes windsocks, or even hang them as decorations. They are fun, festive, and also patriotic.
- Even when you have not lost a loved one who has served in the military, you can honor the fallen ones with flowers at homes. Red, blue, and navy dahlias in combination with white rose flowers can make an amazing visual.
Other Days Celebrated in May
- International Hummus Day
- National Buttermilk Biscuit Day
- National Limerick Day
- National Brisket Day
- National Wine Day