Monday, May 25, 2009
Some Gave All
With a nephew serving in Iraq this summer, and our veterans marching in parades, I wanted to take a moment to remind everyone that this day is about more than picnics and cookouts. It's a day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
Some say Memorial Day began in Kingston, GA for both the Confederate and Union soldiers while the South was still occupied by Sherman's army. New York State was the first to officially recognize the holiday in 1873; by 1890 all northern states recognized the day. Many southern states refused to acknowledge the holiday and kept their own day to recognize their Confederate dead. Things began to change after WWI when the holiday--then called Decoration Day--expanded to include the dead from the Spanish-American War and WWI.
In 1971, Memorial Day was moved to the last Monday in May to give Federal employees a three-day weekend.
I hope you'll pause in whatever you're doing at 3 p.m. today for our National moment of remembrance and think about what this day really means.