Saturday, May 30, 2009

A Day To Remember

Decoration Day is officially proclaimed May 30th 1868, it would become known as Memorial Day.

On May 5th 1868 General John Logan the national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic issued General Order #11 to proclaim May 30th as a day of memorial. He ordered that flowers should be placed on the graves of Union and Confederate dead at Arlington National Cemetery. It is sure that many were decorating the graves of the dead before this, including Southern women who made placing flowers a practice during the war. New York was the first state to recognize the holiday in 1873. All of the Northern states had adopted the holiday by 1890. It wasn’t until after the First World War that the south joined, choosing instead to honor her dead on different days.

Now most states celebrate Memorial Day on the last Monday in May, ensuring a three day weekend. Several of the southern states still have an additional day to honor the Confederate dead.

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