Memorial Day is fast approaching and plenty of us are probably gearing up for the symbolic long weekend that also signifies the beginning of summer. Some of you may go camping and fishing, plan a long hike with friends, or spend quality time with loved ones.
With all the endless planning that may (or may not) include poolside parties and tropical cocktails, let’s not forget that Memorial Day is also a time to remember the lives that were lost for the country.
In honor of the men and women who fought for their lives, we’ve rounded up some facts that will remind all of us on the sacrifices of these courageous individuals.
- Memorial Day was a response to the bloody massacre of the Civil War wherein 620,000 soldiers died. Many lives were lost which led to the commemorations of the dead throughout the country.
- Back in 1864, women from Boalsburg, Pennsylvania placed flowers on the graves of the dead who fought during the Battle of Gettsyburg. The following year, the graves of the soldiers in Vicksburg, Mississippi cemetery were decorated with flowers by a group of women.
- Many began holding an annual community service on May 5, 1866 in Waterloo, New York. Though plenty of towns claimed the title, it was Waterloo that won congressional recognition as the “birthplace of Memorial Day”.
- Memorial Day was first known as Decoration Day as decorating graves with flowers, wreaths, and flags were practiced during those times. The term Memorial Day goes back to 1882, but the older name didn’t disappear until the end of World War II. Memorial Day was declared the official name by the Federal Law in 1967.
- One of the customs of Memorial Day is to fly the flag at half-staff until noon, and then raise it to the top of the staff until sunset.
- The 24-note bugle call named Taps can be heard at all military funerals and memorial services. The music originated in 1862 when Union General Dan Butterfield “grew tired of the ‘lights out’ call sounded at the end of each day” as stated in Washington Post. Butterfield made some modifications to the tune with the help of the brigade bugler.
- General Orders No. 11 stated that “in this observance no form of ceremony is prescribed.” But later on, several customs and symbols became connected to this holiday.
Now that you’re already familiar with some facts behind Memorial Day, we hope that our design idea below will help bring out your patriotic side.
Memorial Day is more than just a three-day weekend or a chance to camp out, have fun, and relish the sun. It’s a time to reflect on the men and women who served the nation and who fought and sacrificed their lives. Each of the them is a hero who did an outstanding job.