Many Americans see Memorial Day as an opportunity to relax in the yard, gather with friends, or plan a weekend getaway — and it very much is. As Americans enjoy the holiday weekend, does anyone know how Memorial Day originated? Memorial Day is much more than just a three-day weekend and a chance to get the year's first sunburn. Memorial Day isn't just an opportunity for a barbecue or beach trip. It's a day honoring American soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
I met Patrick when I used to wait on him at Applebee's in Tracy. He was always so polite and sweet. Always had a wonderful smile on his face. I was so upset when I read about his death. Let’s check some facts about memorial day.
Memorial Day Facts
We're all aware that Memorial Day is a day of remembrance, but Congress has also established an exact minute of remembrance.In addition to any federal observances, Major League Baseball games usually come to a stop during the Moment of Remembrance, and for the past several years, Amtrak engineers have taken up the practice of sounding their horns in unison at precisely 3:00 p.m.
Started with the Civil War:
Memorial Day was a response to the unprecedented carnage of the Civil War, in which some 620,000 soldiers on both sides died. In 1864, women from Boalsburg, Pa., put flowers on the graves of their dead from the just-fought Battle of Gettysburg.
It was first known as Decoration Day:
This thing you might know. The holiday was long known as Decoration Day for the practice of decorating graves with flowers, wreaths, and flags.
"Taps," the bugle call typically performed at military funerals as well as the annual Memorial Day wreath ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, was actually adapted from a separate Civil War. The new melody later became the preferred accompaniment at military funerals after Captain John Tidball of the Union Army alert nearby Confederate troops to their location.
The Ironton-Lawrence Memorial Day Parade in Iron ton, Ohio, is recognized as the oldest continuously running Memorial Day parade in the nation, beginning all the way back in 1868.
Calling Memorial Day a "national holiday" is a bit of a misnomer. While there are 10 federal holidays created by Congress—including Memorial Day—they apply only to Federal employees and the District of Columbia.