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. (Memorial Day History)
When I was a kid, growing up in the American South, the day we now call Memorial Day was called Decoration Day. Families went to the local cemeteries to clean up the grave sites of relatives and leave fresh flowers. If it was known that there were no family members left in the community, those graves also were cleaned. I don’t recall when I first began to hear, or think, that the day was intended to honor those fallen in war.
Like many holidays, the original purpose has changed. Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Christmas, Easter, and other holidays, have become times for picnics, trips, vacations, and assorted non-related practices. Every holiday has become a time for stores to have sales.
I like the idea of Memorial Day. I am pleased to join in the remembrance of troops fallen in battle, and all of the dead who have played a significant role in my life.
The photo below is one I made at the funeral of a long-time friend, earlier this year.
The beginning comments are repeated from 2010 and 2011.