M*CARBO Brotherhood

The Meaning of Memorial Day

A day on which those who died in active military service are remembered, traditionally observed on May 30 but now officially observed on the last Monday in May. Memorial Day was first widely observed in May 1868. The celebration commemorated the sacrifices of the Civil War and the proclamation was made by General John A Logan. Following the proclamation, participants decorated graves of more than 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers.
In years since World War 1, the day has become a celebration of honor for those who died in all America’s wars. In 1971, Memorial Day was declared a national holiday.:us:

7 Likes

Negative. Memorial Day is only for the remembrance and honoring of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice in the service of this great nation. Not even those who died after getting out are what Memorial Day is for. That’s Veterans Day, which is also (obviously) for people like me who served and got out, but haven’t died yet. Current active duty has Armed Forces Day, which isn’t a national holiday, but it should be. Straight from VA.gov…

"Q. What is the difference between Veterans Day and Memorial Day?

A. Many people confuse Memorial Day and Veterans Day. Memorial Day is a day for remembering and honoring military personnel who died in the service of their country, particularly those who died in battle or as a result of wounds sustained in battle. While those who died are also remembered, Veterans Day is the day set aside to thank and honor ALLthose who served honorably in the military - in wartime or peacetime. In fact, Veterans Day is largely intended to thank LIVING veterans for their service, to acknowledge that their contributions to our national security are appreciated, and to underscore the fact that all those who served - not only those who died - have sacrificed and done their duty."

https://www.va.gov/opa/vetsday/vetday_faq.asp

7 Likes

@Wedge Ok Scott, I deleted that one sentence that I copied online. The Memorial Day Ceremony that I go to every year of course honors all who died while serving their country but during the ceremony they also take a few moments to recognize current active military and military veterans as well so thats probably why that was online, just didn’t pick up on it.

2 Likes

No problemo. I just wanted to clarify it. I had it wrong for a long time, too. :+1:

2 Likes

“Remember the fallen” and cherish the freedoms they fought and died for. Every Memorial and Veterans day I try to watch some poignant, historical movie like Saving Private Ryan, Windtalkers etc. I highly recommend Taking Chance if you haven’t seen it. This year it’s a History Channel DVD series on WW1. Empires that stood for centuries fell during that war and the human loss was astounding…

3 Likes

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place, and in the sky,
The larks, still bravely singing, fly,
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead; short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe!
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high!
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

John McCrae, 1872 - 1918

7 Likes

Interesting article on the origins following the End of the Civil War that I found at Pennlive.com. I’m putting it here in full and with full credit to the author.

By Sean Adams sadams@pennlive.com

Memorial Day is nearly upon us, which means now is a perfect time to reflect upon the meaning and origins of the holiday.

While Memorial Day is often celebrated as the beginning of the summer season, the true meaning of the holiday - commemorating those who have lost their lives in the armed forces - has its roots in Pennsylvania history.

While remembrance of fallen soldiers is an age-old practice, the modern Memorial Day has its origins following the Civil War. Annual celebrations sprang up across the nation to honor the dead. Among the first was a “Decoration Day” that began in Boalsburg, Pennsylvania in 1864.

In October 1864, according to the Boalsburg Heritage Museum, two teenage girls named Emma Hunter and Sophie Keller gathered garden flowers to place on the grave of Emma’s father, Dr. Reuben Hunter, who had been a Union Army surgeon. On the same day, an older woman was scattering flowers on the grave of her son, Amos Meyer, who had been a private in the Battle of Gettysburg. It was considered the first Memorial Day service. The women decided to meet again the following year to honor their loved ones and other fallen soldiers.

The women shared their plans, and on July 4, 1965, all of Boalsburg gathered with a clergyman for a sermon and decoration of graves. The annual tradition turned into “Decoration Day.” On May 5, 1868, Gen. John Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic named May 30 as a day “for the purpose of comrades who died in defense of their country.”

The widespread commemoration of fallen soldiers also coincided with the end of the Battle of Gettysburg in Pennsylvania. The massive casualties at the three-day battle in 1863, spanning from July 1-3, 1863, led to many taking July 4 as a day to honor the dead.

For decades after the Civil War, there were sporadic celebrations across the country on various days, depending on the state. During World War I, the poem “In Flanders Field” inspired the placement of poppies on the graves of fallen soldiers, and in the following years the use of artificial poppies became extremely popular for that purpose. According to the Veteran’s Association, the first factory devoted to creating artificial poppies for that purpose was built in Pittsburgh in 1924.

It wasn’t until 1971 that the Uniform Monday Holiday Act made Memorial Day an official national holiday, and cemented its place on the calendar as the last Monday in May.
Observance of the holiday includes flying the flag at half-staff in honor of the fallen, but raising it to the full staff at noon where it remains until sunset. And as a federal holiday at the beginning of the summer, it is also regularly marked with cookouts and other outdoor events, including the PennLive/Patriot-News Artsfest.

4 Likes

Just came back from a very nice Memorial Day celebration, hope everyone is enjoying their day.

3 Likes

Been inside sleeping all day. Just got up and it’s starting to rain again. Nothing like spending all day in bed and then going to work and dealing with the weather.

2 Likes

@KM55 When I was in the Army I worked 10 hour night shifts, I feel you brother.

3 Likes

I have been retired 18 years and still work the long shifts, I guess Government work just doesn’t change military or civilian for power generation type guys.

3 Likes

Were you a Nuke? I was a prior-enlisted Nuke Machinist’s Mate.

2 Likes

No I turned down the nuke program, didn’t want to glow in the dark and have two headed and six toed babies (LOL). My biggest regret was turning down the opportunity to attend the academy in Annapolis. So I did my time as an enlisted it served me well after retirement in getting jobs.

4 Likes

Guess I did both. Glowed in the dark as a prior then to Canoe U (USNA). Went from powering subs from below to hunting them from above in ASW helos. LOL

3 Likes

Happy Memorial Day brothers.

6 Likes