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Memorial Day – To Honor Those Who Have Fallen

This weekend, remember to take time to honor those men and women who lost their lives while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and participating in parades.

 

In Remembrance - The Rha Cares &Amp; Honors Our Vets

May 30th Was The Day

 

For decades, Memorial Day continued to be observed on May 30, the date General Logan had selected for the first Decoration Day. But in 1968, Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which established Memorial Day as the last Monday in May in order to create a three-day weekend for federal employees. The change went into effect in 1971. The same law also declared Memorial Day a federal holiday.

In Remembrance - The Rha Cares &Amp; Honors Our Vets

Wearing A Red Poppy

 

In the spring of 1915, bright red flowers began poking through the battle-ravaged land across northern France and Flanders in northern Belgium. Canadian Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, who served as a brigade surgeon for an Allied artillery unit, spotted a cluster of the poppies shortly after bloody Second Battle of Ypres. The sight of the bright red flowers against the dreary backdrop of war inspired McCrae to pen the poem, “In Flanders Field,” in which he gives voice to the soldiers who had been killed in battle and lay buried beneath the poppy-covered grounds. Later that year, a Georgia teacher and volunteer war worker named Moina Michael read the poem in Ladies’ Home Journal and wrote her own poem, “We Shall Keep the Faith” to begin a campaign to make the poppy a symbol of tribute to all who died in war. The poppy remains a symbol of remembrance to this day.

 

In Remembrance - The Rha Cares &Amp; Honors Our Vets

Decoration Day

On May 5, 1868, General John A. Logan, leader of an organization for Northern Civil War veterans, called for a nationwide day of remembrance later that month. “The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land,” he proclaimed. On the first Decoration Day, General James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery, and 5,000 participants decorated the graves of the 20,000 Civil War soldiers buried there.

In Remembrance - The Rha Cares &Amp; Honors Our Vets

Memorial Day Traditions

 

Cities and towns across the United States host Memorial Day parades each year, often incorporating military personnel and members of veterans’ organizations. Some of the largest parades take place in Chicago, New York and Washington, D.C.

Americans also observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries and memorials. Some people wear a red poppy in remembrance of those fallen in war—a tradition that began with the World War I poem “In Flanders Field.”

 

In Remembrance - The Rha Cares &Amp; Honors Our Vets

Did You Know?

Did you know that each year on Memorial Day a national moment of remembrance takes place at 3:00 p.m. local time?

On this Memorial Day Monday, take a moment, perhaps at 3:00 p.m. to remember those who died in service to our country so we may enjoy the freedoms offered us by this great county of ours.

In Remembrance

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