This holiday used to be called “Decoration Day”, when folks would decorate the graves of their fallen Civil War soldiers to honor them and take time to gather together to remember them.
After World War I folks started to honor the dead of all the American wars. It became known as “Memorial Day” around 1882 and that was declared the official name by Federal Law in 1967. In 1968 Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act and Memorial Day changed dates from May 30 to the last Monday in May. Thus, the three-day weekend of fun we celebrate now.
Memorial Day is also considered the unofficial start of Summer and, because of that, some people do not seem to take the holiday very seriously. It’s a time to get family and friends together for BBQ’s and lawn games! A time to get reacquainted with neighbors and long-lost family members and to play outside! All very good things to do.
This Memorial Day let’s try to remember the other part of the holiday.too. Most of us know someone who died in a war and this is the time to honor them. If possible, to decorate their gravesite with fresh flowers and flags. Perhaps we could take our families to a Memorial Day service and share with others their memories of fallen loved ones.
There will be a Memorial Day Parade in Sarasota hosted by the City of Sarasota. They will have it on Monday May 27 starting at 10am. It starts at Main Street and Osprey Avenue in downtown Sarasota, with a ceremony afterwards at Main Street and Gulfstream Avenue. This would be a great opportunity to honor the soldiers who have given their lives.
Memorial Day, to me, has two purposes: to get together with people you want to play with AND to remember the soldiers who have died. Without them we might not get to enjoy the time we have to spend with those we care about. A heartfelt “thank you” to those who gave their lives in wars for their country. And to those who were left behind to mourn them.
Photos from deposit photos.