Memorial Day was originally called ‘Decoration Day’ and was established as a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation’s service. Memorial Day was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of both Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. It is a date of remembrance, honor and reconciliation. For many who have recently lost loved ones who served and gave their all for what they believed in, it can be a day of grieving over the fresh pangs of loss of their father, mother, son, daughter, brother, sister, friend, comrade or loved one.
Memorial Day 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). For many this is most of what this holiday represents to them: a 3-day break from work or school to plan a vacation around.
Red Poppies began to be used as a symbol to wear in of honor those who had died in war or in service after Moina Michael wrote in 1919 the verse:
“We cherish too, the Poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led,
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies.” [Read more…] about Memorial Day: Grief vs Remembrance vs Honoring