Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day. In fact, there are a few that still refer to it as that.
Flowers, crosses, and wreaths were placed on the graves of those soldiers who were killed in the Civil War. It was a day of honor and remembrance.
It is said, in 1882, the name was changed to Memorial Day. All soldiers who had died in previous wars were honored and continue to be honored today. In 1971, President Richard Nixon declared Memorial Day a federal holiday on the last Monday in May.
All around the US, this special holiday continues to be a day of remembrance of those who have given their lives in service to our country.
In Minnesota, it has extra significance as our state provided the first Union soldiers in the Civil War and the first soldiers that “shipped out” for Europe in World War II. It is also a day of personal remembrance; showing honor and respect to those loved ones who have died.
Each year, my family, now consisting of my husband and three children, travel to a few different cemeteries to honor our family members who have passed away. We place flowers at their grave sites and share stories with our children of memories we have of those loved ones.
This special day provides an opportunity for my husband and me to share memories of loved ones that our children have never met. Our youngest daughter, Delaney, was saddened that she had never met her grandparents, except for Grandma Iris, whose grave we now visit, too.
Like many families, ours will attend our local Memorial Day ceremony to show our true appreciation for those who have sacrificed to give us our many blessings of freedom and, in our little way, say thanks.
Have a safe and thankful Memorial Day!