Memorial Day

May 27, 2016

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May is a very important month for American service men and women. There is Armed Forces Day, which is celebrated annually on the third Saturday in May. Then there is also Memorial Day, a day in which to remember service men and women who have died in combat or while in service to their country.

Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day. The reason why it was first known as Decoration Day was because service members’ graves were decorated with flowers and flags. This day was created as a reaction to all the deaths of over 600,000 soldiers in the Civil War. These were from both sides of the war. Something had to be done to remember the dead. And so, on May 5, 1868, Memorial Day was created. On the inaugural Decoration Day, General James Garfield appeared at the Arlington National Cemetery and made a speech while participants decorated the graves of thousands of Civil War soldiers, both Union and Confederate.

New York was the first state to officially recognize Memorial Day in 1873 and was recognized by all Northern states just seven years later. The South opposed this day to memorialize the soldiers, so they celebrated on their own day until after World War I. The day is spent memorializing all members of the military who have died in combat after the Civil War

Thanks to the passage of the National Holiday Act of 1971 by Congress, Memorial Day is now observed in nearly every state on the last Monday in May. Several states consider it a Federal holiday which allows for it to be a three day weekend for many. It is also considered to be the official start of the summer season in the United States.

Trivia: At Arlington National Cemetery, each grave interred there has one American flag to mark it on Memorial Day? This has been done since 1948.

-CD


Flag Holidays

January 12, 2015

Some of you have asked when we should be flying our flags this year. According to USFlag.org, the following are 2015’s flag holidays*:

New Year’s Day, January 1st

Inauguration Day, January 20th, every time a new President is elected

Martin Luther King’s Birthday

Lincoln’s Birthday

Washington’s Birthday

Easter Sunday

Patriots Day, April 19 (not to be confused with Patriot Day, which is September 11th, another day in which to proudly display the stars and stripes)

National Day of Prayer, the 1st Thursday of May

Mother’s Day

Armed Forces Day, Every third Saturday in May to celebrate and thank the US Military in all five branches, Army, Navy, Air Force, US Marine Corps, and the US Coast Guard.

Memorial Day (half-staff until noon)

Flag Day, June 14th

Independence Day, July 4th.

Labor Day, (First Monday of September)

Patriot Day, September 11th. This day is observed to honor the victims of the September 11, 2001 tragedy. You may see flags raised at half staff on this day.

Constitution Day, September 17th

Columbus Day, October 12th

Navy Day, October 27th

Veterans Day, November 11th (Easy for me to remember because my nephew was born on this day and my older brother himself is a veteran)

Thanksgiving Day (last Thursday of every November)

Christmas Day

Election Days

And of course, on your state birthday! Click here to find your state’s birthday. Usually the flag is to be risen at sunrise and taken down at sunset, on days when weather permits.

Note: In addition to all of this, the flag can also be flown as directed by the President of the United States.

*These dates are to the best of my knowledge.

~CD