Archive | May 26, 2014

THANK YOU! Military Fallen, THANK YOU!

“We do not know one promise these men(and women) made, one pledge they gave, one word they spoke; but we do know they summed up and perfected, by one supreme act, the highest virtues of men(and women) and citizens. For love of country they accepted death, and thus resolved all doubts, and made immortal their patriotism and their virtue.”

– James A. Garfield
May 30, 1868 Arlington National Cemetery
 
 
Black Union Soldiers
 
Memorial Day, as Decoration Day gradually came to be known, originally honored only those lost while fighting in the Civil War.  But during World War I,  the United States found itself embroiled in another major conflict, and the holiday evolved to commemorate American military personnel who died in all wars.  For decades, Memorial Day continued to be observed on May 30, the date Logan had selected for the first Decoration Day.  Except for the south:

  • Mississippi: Last Monday in April
  • Alabama: Fourth Monday in April
  • Georgia: April 26
  • North Carolina: May 10
  • South Carolina: May 10
  • Louisiana: June 3
  • Tennessee (Confederate Decoration Day): June 3
  • Texas (Confederate Heroes Day): January 19
  • Virginia: Last Monday in May

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.

 

Black WWII Soldiers

AGAIN, THANK YOU