Did You Know - Memorial Day - Stewart Home & School

Did You Know – Memorial Day

It all started on May 5, 1868, (three years after the civil war came to an end) the head of an      organization of Union veterans known as the Grand Army of the Republic created Decoration Day, which was a time to decorate the graves of deceased war veterans. Major General John A. Logan decided to celebrate on May 30. It is believe that day was picked because its when all flowers would be in bloom. The first large observance was held the same year at Arlington National Cemetery, which was right across the Potoman River from Washington D.C. The ceremonies were held in a veranda in the Arlington Mansion, once home of General Robert E. Lee. After Speeches, children from the Soldier’s and Sailors’ Orphanage Home and Members of The Grand Army of the Republic made their way through the cemetery and place flowers on the graves in the cemetery.  Some States have a separate Memorial Day for war heroes that differs in several states. In Mississippi and Alabama, it’s the last Monday in April. In the Carolinas it’s May 10th  Louisiana is June 3rd ,Virginia  is January 19th. Memorial Day officially became a Federal Holiday in 1971.

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