Here’s a post I did a year ago. My thoughts haven’t changed.
It’s Memorial Day, which used to be called “Decoration Day,” a holiday begun after the Civil War to honor the dead. It was originally meant both for the sake of the fallen and to promote reconciliation. The month of May was the obvious season, as flowers to decorate graves would be in greater profusion than at the the anniversary of the end of the War in early April. The exact date of May 30 was established in the North, because no battle had been fought on that day. It was settled that Veterans’ graves were to be decorated and civic memorials for the fallen soldiers held.
“Memorial Day” gradually became the more common name as the United States fought more wars, and it became almost universal after World War II. The name wasn’t officially changed, though, until 1967.
Aside from both the official purpose of the day and its popular…
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