13 facts about Memorial Day
1.Three years after the Civil War ended, on May 5, 1868, the head of an organization of Union veterans — the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) — established Decoration Day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers.
2. It is believed that date was chosen because flowers would be in bloom all over the country.
3. The first large observance was held that year at Arlington National Cemetery, across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C.
4. Cities in the North and the South claim to be the birthplace of Memorial Day in 1866. Both Macon and Columbus, Ga., claim the title, as well as Richmond, Va. The village of Boalsburg, Pa., claims it began there two years earlier.
5. A stone in a Carbondale, Ill., cemetery carries the statement that the first Decoration Day ceremony took place there on April 29, 1866.
6. Official Birthplace Declared In 1966, Congress and President Lyndon Johnson declared Waterloo, N.Y., the “birthplace” of Memorial Day. There, a ceremony on May 5, 1866, honored local veterans who had fought in the Civil War. Businesses closed and residents flew flags at half-staff. Supporters of Waterloo’s claim say earlier observances in other places were either informal, not community-wide or one-time events.
7. By the end of the 19th century, Memorial Day ceremonies were being held on May 30 throughout the nation. State legislatures passed proclamations designating the day, and the Army and Navy adopted regulations for proper observance at their facilities.
8. It was not until after World War I, however, that the day was expanded to honor those who have died in all American wars. In 1971, Memorial Day was declared a national holiday by an act of Congress, though it is still often called Decoration Day. It was then also placed on the last Monday in May, as were some other federal holidays.
9. Some States Have Confederate Observances Many Southern states also have their own days for honoring the Confederate dead. Mississippi celebrates Confederate Memorial Day on the last Monday of April, Alabama on the fourth Monday of April, and Georgia on April 26. North and South Carolina observe it on May 10, Louisiana on June 3 and Tennessee calls that date Confederate Decoration Day. Texas celebrates Confederate Heroes Day January 19 and Virginia calls the last Monday in May Confederate Memorial Day.
10. Gen. Logan’s order for his posts to decorate graves in 1868 “with the choicest flowers of springtime” urged: “We should guard their graves with sacred vigilance. … Let pleasant paths invite the coming and going of reverent visitors and fond mourners. Let no neglect, no ravages of time, testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten as a people the cost of a free and undivided republic.”
11. The crowd attending the first Memorial Day ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery was approximately the same size as those that attend today’s observance, about 5,000 people. Then, as now, small American flags were placed on each grave — a tradition followed at many national cemeteries today. In recent years, the custom has grown in many families to decorate the graves of all departed loved ones.
12. Moment of Remembrance. The National Moment of Remembrance encourages all Americans to pause wherever they are at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day for a minute of silence to remember and honor those who have died in service to the nation.
13. AAA projects a 5.4 percent increase in the number of Americans traveling this Memorial Day weekend from 2009. More than 32.1 million Americans are expected to travel.
This week we will answer some crazy questions brought to you by Kimber, the color of Bret Michaels’ bandana, and the number 8888.
1. Tomorrow you’ll be thinking to yourself?
Haven’t thought about it.
2. Where’s your picket fence?
3. With a big smile on your face, you do what?
4. If I was to walk up to you, you’d do what?
Go to bed. I’m tired.
5. The list goes on and on. What list?
6. Does every rose have a thorn or does every thorn have a rose?
7. Talk dirty to me. What kind of mop/vacuum/dust thingymabob do you use?
All of the above.
8. Your Mamma don’t _______ and your Daddy don’t _______.
Breathe and use complex thinking.
9. Ever had a suitcase packed by your feet, and if so where were you going?
10. Have you ever ridden in a limousine?
11. I went to bed too soon and got up to ____?
12. “And this last mile I travel with you “, to where?