Decoration Day Morphed into Memorial Day

I never actually sat and pondered the differences between the 3 days on the calendar that honor our military. What about you?

This post was on F B by Maureen Bravo. It got me thinking….

  • Armed Forces Day – Honoring those who currently wear the uniform
  • Veterans Day – Honoring those who used to wear the uniform
  • Memorial Day (Formerly Decoration Day) – Honoring those who never made it out of the uniform

History refresher

I wanted to know more about the soon approaching day we call Memorial day. So I’ve been spending some time today doing research. Here’s what I found so far…

“Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and participating in parades. Unofficially, it marks the beginning of the summer season.

“The Civil War, which ended in the spring of 1865, claimed more lives than any conflict in U.S. history and required the establishment of the country’s first national cemeteries.

“By the late 1860s, Americans in various towns and cities had begun holding springtime tributes to these countless fallen soldiers, decorating their graves with flowers and reciting prayers.

“Decoration Day, as they called it, was chosen because it wasn’t the anniversary of any particular battle.

“For decades, Memorial Day continued to be observed on May 30, the date General Logan had selected for the first Decoration Day. But in 1968, Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which established Memorial Day as the last Monday in May in order to create a three-day weekend for federal employees. The change went into effect in 1971. The same law also declared Memorial Day a federal holiday.


Why the poppies?

John McCrae penned the poem, “In Flanders Field,” in which he gives voice to the soldiers who had been killed in battle and lay buried beneath the poppy-covered grounds. Later that year, a Georgia teacher and volunteer war worker named Moina Michael read the poem in Ladies’ Home Journal and wrote her own poem, “We Shall Keep the Faith” to begin a campaign to make the poppy a symbol of tribute to all who died in war. The poppy remains a symbol of remembrance to this day.

Formal Rituals and Legislation about the flag

Despite the increasing celebration of the holiday as a summer rite of passage, there are some formal rituals still on the books: The American flag should be hung at half-staff until noon on Memorial Day, then raised to the top of the staff. And since 2000, when the U.S. Congress passed legislation, all Americans are encouraged to pause for a National Moment of Remembrance at 3 p.m. local time.


Wow! That is some interesting stuff!

I LOVE knowing the answer to “why” of anything. I guess that’s why I ask so many questions. I am always curious. Always learning. I suppose that will keep me young. LOL.


Maybe, too, this post will help keep things in perspective this year. To keep the main thing, the main thing. YES, it is fun to have the long weekend and get-togethers, but if it weren’t for all those we honor this day in May, we wouldn’t be free to do those things.


May the God of all comfort, comfort those who sit at the table across from an empty chair! I honor YOUR sacrifices, too!


“Our world tells us you are strong; you’ve got this! But…REAL strength is found only in Christ. In our brokenness His power is made perfect.”

author unknown

Perhaps today. Jesus is coming! Are you rapture-ready?

God bless you bunches!

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