The History Of Memorial Day

    As this weekend approaches and we all finalize plans for picnics, cookouts, parties and such for the Memorial Day weekend, we thought it would be a great idea to review the history behind this national holiday.

    Memorial Day is always the last Monday in May and commemorates the men and women who died while serving our country.   There is no doubt that these military personnel deserve our honor and gratitude for the sacrifice they have given.

    According to the U.S. Government of Veterans Affairs website the history behind this holiday is a little different depending on where you live because many cities across the nation claim to be the birthplace of Memorial Day starting in 1866.

    What we do know for sure is that “three years after the Civil War ended, on May 5, 1868, the head of an organization of Union veterans — the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) — established Decoration Day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. Maj. Gen. John A. Logan declared that Decoration Day should be observed on May 30. It is believed that date was chosen because flowers would be in bloom all over the country.”

    As a result of the creation of Decoration Day, there was a large ceremony to honor the men and women who gave their lives at Arlington National Cemetery that very year.

    However, Memorial Day was not declared a nation holiday until 1971 when it was passed by an act of Congress and set for the last Monday of May.

    In December 2000, Congress then passed into law “The National Moment of Remembrance Act,” which encourages all Americans to pause for a moment of silence at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day.

    We thought you would find this history lesson interesting and we hope you will take a moment to remember the courage and cost of the freedom we enjoy today.

    Thanks to all of our military personnel past and present!!

    If you or someone you know is interested in buying or selling real estate in the Austin area, please contact Kathleen Bucher at 512.794.6644 or KathleenBucher@mac.com.  It would be an honor to earn your business.

    **Image courtesy of “American Flag” by Michael Elliott/Freedigitalphotos.net.

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