What is Memorial Day?
Most Americans have no idea how “Memorial Day” came to be recognized. In today’s environment, many are advocating striking from our history books anything they deem offensive. May I dare say this is, “Folly & Narrow minded at its core,” thereby setting up history repeating itself because modern people ignore the travails of our countries’ tortured history. Modern Day “Americans” should take pride in the fact that our “Forefathers” were able to struggle thru horrific times and come out as the “Strongest” most “Generous” nation in world history “in spite of,” our short comings.
The US Civil War started April 12th 1861 with the firing on Ft Sumter & ended with the Confederate surrender in April 1865 at Appomattox. During this time, it is estimated between 620 to as many as 750,000 Americans were killed. The reasons for the war vary. The (2) main reasons were, #-1 To abolish Slavery and #2- States Rights to choose for themselves how they wish to live. NOTE of interest, to those who pay attention; States even today are still making the fight on issue #2, just not on the battlefield. Unofficially in 1866 businesses closed for one day and their employees along with citizens went and decorated with flags the soldier’s graves of both sides. Which became known as, “Decoration Day.”
In 1868 on May 5th, General John Logan, the leader of the, “Northern States Civil War Veterans Organization” made a proposal to congress to honor all “Veterans for their service” with the express intent to help our country heal. Thus in 1868 Congress passed a bill, proclaiming May 30th as the day set aside to honor all Veterans. The Southern States not wanting to be dictated to informally chose a different day until the end of WW-1. In 1966 Congress declared, “Waterloo, NY” as the birthplace of, “Memorial Day,” since it was May 5th 1866 when the first businesses closed for one day. In 1968 Congress passed the, “Uniform Holiday Act” recognizing the “Last Monday in May” and it wasn’t until 1971 this day we call, “MEMORIAL DAY,” became an official national holiday.