Remembrance, reconciliation & Memorial Day traditions

May 30, 2011
1909 postcard


Did you know that Memorial Day began after the Civil War as a ritual of
remembrance and reconciliation?  And, it was a day to remember all deceased loved ones, not just service personnel.That tradition remains: go to any cemetery today and you’ll see families visiting the graves of those who have gone before them.

There are some other traditions, as well.

At 3pm there is always a national moment of remembrance. Who knew?

How about that flags are to be flown half-staff (honoring those who have lost their lives in service of our country) until noon, then raised to full-staff?

Who’s responsible for disseminating this information
and why didn’t I get that memo?

Are you old enough to remember when this day was called Decoration Day?
Not so long ago– it didn’t get officially named Memorial Day until 1967.

A year later, dates were changed for this holiday and two others so they could become official federal holidays with three-day weekends (also Veterans Day and Washington’s Birthday).

It was controversial.
Some thought that making a three-day weekend out of the day
‘with picnics, car races and other festivities cheapened it.

I don’t agree.

Life, after all, is for the living.


Honoring our lost loved ones and then moving on with a day of celebration seems fitting.


dog image: 

Have a wonderful Memorial Day.

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