Author Topic: Memorial Day/Decoration Day...  (Read 1886 times)

Offline St. George

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Memorial Day/Decoration Day...
« on: May 28, 2006, 10:48:48 am »
Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, National Commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, which states -

"The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet churchyard in the land. In this observance no form of ceremony is prescribed, but posts and comrades will in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit."

It was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.

The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873, and by 1890 it was recognized by all of the Northern states.
 
The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war).

It is now celebrated in almost every State on the last Monday in May (passed by Congress with the National Holiday Act of 1971 (P.L. 90 - 363) to ensure a three day weekend for Federal holidays).

Several Southern states have an additional separate day for honoring the War Dead of the Confederacy.
 
Alabama: April 26
Georgia: April 26
Florida: April 26
Mississippi: April 26
North Carolina: May 10
South Carolina: May 10
Louisiana: June 3 (Jefferson Davis' Birthday)
Tennessee (Confederate Decoration Day): June 3
Texas (Confederate Heroes Day): January 19
Virginia: Last Monday in May

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service.

There are many stories as to its actual beginnings, with over two dozen cities and towns laying claim to being the birthplace of Memorial Day, and there is also evidence that organized women's groups in the South were decorating graves before the end of the Civil War:

A hymn published in 1867 - "Kneel Where Our Loves are Sleeping" - by Nella L. Sweet  - carried this dedication:   "To The Ladies of the South who are Decorating the Graves of the Confederate Dead" .

Remember the Fallen - not just from this war but from all of our wars.

The WWI poet - Lawrence Binyon - had this to say.

"They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old,

Age shall not weary them ... nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun, and in the morning,

We will remember them..."


Take a few minutes to clean their stones and if you can - leave some small remembrance.

They deserve this small recognition of the sacrifice they paid...

Vaya con Dios, acaso...

Scouts Out!
"It Wasn't Cowboys and Ponies - It Was Horses and Men.
It Wasn't Schoolboys and Ladies - It Was Cowtowns and Sin..."

Offline Mustang Gregg

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Re: Memorial Day/Decoration Day...
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2006, 08:47:21 am »
Thanks, St George!
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Offline Reb Tyree

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Re: Memorial Day/Decoration Day...
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2006, 11:12:20 pm »
Thanks St George  for the great info.  Today my Civil War Unit , 43rd VA Cav Co A., had the hoonr to serve as the Confederte Color Guard.  I had the honor to serve as the Honor Guard Flag barrier for the CSA flag and also serve on the Color Guard for USA Flag for the Memorial Day Ceremonys.  We had a large ceremony, which honored all who served.  President Lincoln spoke to the public along with Gen Robert E. Lee also addressed the public.  History was given about Memorial Day.  It was very intresting and a very touching ceremonry.   

I would also like everyone to take a moment to think about those who gave thier lives in defense of theis great nation.  Thank a vet the next time you see one, or a parent, uncle or grandfather or Mom or grandmother, or son or daughter, or friends.  Thank You all who served this nation.  I salute you all.  God Bless America!

I have the honor to remain,

Your obedient Servant

Bvt Lt Col (SSG) Reb Tyree CSA
Chief of Staff, Dept of the Pacific,
Grand Army of the Frontier
I have the Honor to remain,

Your Obedient Servant,

(SFC) Bvt Lt. Col Reb Tyree, CSA
Chief of Staff, Dept of the Pacific,
Grand Army of the Frontier

Offline Dai.S.Loe

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Re: Memorial Day/Decoration Day...
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2006, 11:27:33 pm »
....

The WWI poet - Lawrence Binyon - had this to say.

"They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old,

Age shall not weary them ... nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun, and in the morning,

We will remember them..."


....


This poem is recited every night in the New Zealand Returned Servicemens Association's at 9pm.

It is also recited on occasions such as ANZAC Day (April 25th) and at the funeral of a returned serviceman

Always brings a lump to my throat.

Dai
The "Darkside" means never having to see the targets you miss.

Offline US Scout

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Re: Memorial Day/Decoration Day...
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2006, 09:05:33 am »
I have the honor to report that on Memorial Day I visited Arlington National Cemetary and left flowers on the graves of 20 comrades.

Two were men who I knew and greatly admired.  One was in the Navy and served 20 years, to include in WWII.  At least three ships he was on were sunk, including one by a kamikaze at Okinawa.  He was in the Philippines when it fell, served briefly as a guerilla before escaping to rejoin the fleet.  The second was a Special Forces officer who was captured by the VC and remained a captive for five years.  He was murdered by terrorists years later.

The remaining 18 were those who served during the Civil War and Indian Wars, and even one Rough Rider; they included soldiers, sailors and Marines.

I arrived at the cemetary with a list of 12 names but each year I find additional graves to visit. 

Unfortunately, I had to miss a visiting a few graves this year, even though I was at the cemetary a good two hours longer than usual.  The crowd this year was larger than in past years and many roads and paths were blocked off for the President's visit.  At one point we had to exit into Ft Meyers and were not allowed to reenter until after the ceremonies - though we were allowed to reenter via the cemetary's Visitor's Center. 

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Offline Pitspitr

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Re: Memorial Day/Decoration Day...
« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2006, 01:31:39 pm »
Thanks for the posting the histories St. George

I have the honor to report that at Fort Hartsuff we had a small ceremony that included a speach by the commanding officer and the the enlisted men fired 3 vollyes in recognition of Decoration Day.

 
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