A little history out of the vault seemed appropriate with Memorial Day this week. History of Memorial Day has been transformed through history. The first beginnings of Remembrance Day permeated the community. At the start of Decoration Day, the community gathered to decorate the graves of loved ones who have passed away. The history of Decoration Day includes the celebration, recognition and honor of those who served in wars by protecting the values our ancestors established. Service is not an exclusive term of military service, so this year as you celebrate Memorial Day, appreciate those who gave their lives to serve.
In 1865, the Civil War ended and officials looked for opportunities to celebrate the lives of those who had served. General John A. Logan, GAR (Grand Army of the Republic) considered appropriate ways to honor those who had fallen in service. The solution was decorating day. The focus of the event was a time when loved ones left in mourning would celebrate the life of the individual and respectfully decorate the graves with flowers, flags and other items. The first day of decoration observed was in 1868 at Arlington National Cemetery, with General James Garfield presiding over the services. Over five thousand people attended and helped decorate over twenty thousand Arlington graves. The first observation of Decoration Day will be recognized and observed in several cities across the country.
In 1966, together with President Lyndon B. Johnson, the federal government declared Waterloo, New York, the birthplace of Memorial Day. Memorial Day transformed communities into an annual event celebrated at the community level. In 1971, Congress recognized “Memorial Day” as a federal holiday. You each have the opportunity to explore and discover wonderful treasures and gems of history; dig in your family’s treasure chests. There is, as always, a lot more to the story! Find it! #HistoryMysteries!