Perhaps you are planning to share time with family, neighbors and friends this long weekend that is our annual turn into summertime activities. But, are you planning to take time to remember and recognize those for whom this holiday was established to honor?
The history of Memorial Day
This holiday is set aside to remember those who died in service of our country’s armed forces. It was originally called Declaration Day and there are many stories of how it got started. Following the Civil War (or the War Between the States), faithful families decorated the graves of soldiers. Both Confederate and Union solders’ graves were decorated in each area of the country with the first national Decoration Day happening in Arlington Cemetery on May 30, 1868. Charleston has a significant and interesting connection with the early recognition of war dead.
Following World War I and in response to the now famous poem, “In Flanders Fields”, Moina Michael, wrote a poem of response referencing the wearing of poppies to remember war dead.
When I was growing up, there was always a campaign by the VFW to sell poppies and use the funds to help veterans. I remember how everyone wore those paper poppies. I wish they were still sold and worn.
Perhaps this Memorial Day, you can wear a red ribbon to signify that you remember.
How will you and your family remember those whose lives ended in sacrifice and support of our country?