Memorial Day

May 23, 2018

Memorial Flags

On Memorial Day we honor the men and women who have died while serving in the U.S. military. This day is observed by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings, and participating in parades. Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971.

By the time the American Civil War had ended in the spring of 1865, more lives had been claimed than in any other conflict is U.S. history. This required the establishment of the country’s first national cemeteries. By the late 1860s, various towns and cities had begun holding springtime tributes to these countless fallen soldiers by decorating their graves with flowers and reciting prayers.

While it is unclear where this tradition had originated, what with numerous different communities independently initiating the memorial gatherings, Waterloo, New York was declared the official birthplace of Memorial Day by the federal government in 1966. Waterloo –  which first celebrated the day on May 5, 1866 –  was chosen because it hosted an annual, community-wide event, during which businesses closed and residents decorated the graves of soldiers with flowers and flags.

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. General Logan chose May 30th and called it Decoration Day. The date was chosen because it wasn’t the anniversary of any particular Civil War battle.

On the first Decoration Day, General James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery, where 5,000 participants decorated the graves of 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers buried there. Many Northern states held similar commemorative events and by 1890, each one had made Decoration Day an official state holiday. Southern states continued to honor their dead on separate days until after World War I.

Memorial Day, as Decoration Day gradually became to be known, originally honored only those lost while fighting in the Civil War. However during World War I, the United States found itself embroiled in another major conflict. The holiday grew to commemorate all American military personnel who died in any war.

For decades, Memorial Day continued to be observed on May 30th, 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. This change, that went into effect in 1971, also declared Memorial Day as a federal holiday.

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State Post – Mississippi

September 25, 2015

I feel a lot of the history has been controversial since it had seceded from the Union during the Civil War and all that. Here’s what I could come up with:

Mississippi becamsms35n-indoor_-00_front_mississippi-3x5ft-nylon-flag-with-indoor-pole-hem-and-fringee the 20th state on December 10, 1817. Hernando de Soto, the Spanish explorer, founded the land as early as 1540 and the first settlement was established around sixty years later by Pierre Le Moyne d’Iberville. Control of the state had been changed several times from Spain, France, and Great Britain until 1798 when the land was organized to create the Mississippi Territory. It later became a state in 1817.

Mississippi has flown many state flags in its history, dating all the way back to 1682 when they flew the Bourbon Flag of France. The current flag of Mississippi was adopted in February 1894, replacing the previous Magnolia Flag that had been flown after Mississippi seceded from the union. The current flag of Mississippi has the Confederate Battle Flag, a blue cross with 13 stars representing the Confederate States, edged in white on a red background, in the upper left hand corner. The three colorful bars, blue, white, and red, are horizontal on the rest of the flag. There is much debate on changing the state flag as it has the Confederate Flag on it. Citizens and legislators have tried for years to adopt a new state flag for Mississippi. However, many voted against changing the flag because they still value its historic significance. As of this writing, Mississippi is the only state flag with any part of the Confederate Flag on it.

Mississippi got its name from the Chippewa words mici zibi, which means “great river” due to the Mississippi River that runs along that state, or the Algonquian word Messipi.


Civil War Memorial

November 11, 2014

imageOn November 8, 2014, the Mount Pleasant Area Historical Society (Pennsylvania) mpcemeteryheld a memorial for the men who fought in the Civil War. Held on Cannon Hill in Mount Pleasant Cemetery, attendees were given maps which detailed locations of all the Civil War veterans. The county society has financed printing and distribution of the maps.

In addition, members of the local society were on standby at a number of the graves to offer biographical information on the veterans’ lives. Guests listened as speakers briefly spoke about the history of the 142nd and 28th regimes and their battles during the Civil War. Guests were also told of the history of Mount Pleasant Cemetery and how the townspeople demanded that the local men who died have their final resting place in their hometown. A total of 130 Civil War veterans are buried in Mount Pleasant Cemetery.

As we honor our current military men and women, we should also remember those who served in wars past…whether it’s from 20, 40, 70, or 150 years ago.