Gone but Not Forgotten

3 Things We Should Know About Memorial Day

Growing up, Memorial Day was that Monday in May when everybody had a cookout. As I've gotten older, not too much has changed. I am still house jumping for a taste of southern cooking however, my age has shed a little more light on why we celebrate the last Monday in May. I know what you're thinking, who doesn't know the real reason for Memorial Day? Before you start looking at your screens with those judgey eyes, let me explain. I always knew it was important, I always knew it was about fallen soldiers but I never looked any deeper into the holiday.

Since we are days away from cookout fever, I felt it necessary to deepen my understanding of Memorial Day and share what I've learned with my readers. After all, I am in the business of educating and empowering. You can take this knowledge and have a pop quiz and your cookouts on Monday. Here are 3 things you should know about Memorial Day:

  1. Happy Decorations Day

  2. The South Says No

  3. All Federal Agencies Pause at 3:00 pm

I bet you didn't even know that Memorial Day was first called Decorations Day. Yup, it was. Way back in the day, around 1868 to be exact, General Logan decided that soldiers who were killed in the Civil War should be honored. There wasn't a particular battle to commemorate, instead this day was to decorate the graves of soldiers who died fighting. During the first Decoration, 5,000 people adorned the graves of 20,000 fallen soldiers. Can you imagine what a site that must have been?

Click here to read General Logan's General Order No. 11

Within 5 years, northern states began to observe the holiday. Unfortunately, the south said no, at least until the observance was changed from fallen Civil War soldiers to any war. Before the change, the South had their own dates in which they honored the dead. The South is always marching to the beat of their own drums, especially during those times. I've always wondered why location had such a progressive/regressive impact on people. Am I the only one who wonders why the north was so forward thinking?

I've worked on base before, so I've seen the stop and salute that happens everyday around 2:00 pm. But, I had no idea that every Memorial Day at 3:00 people all federal agencies are asked to pause for a moment in honor of the fallen. Were you aware? Perhaps because I am no longer near any bases so I don't get to see it firsthand, nor do I watch any TV because duh I am eating food fresh off the grill, but I seriously did not know. I think its pretty cool though. So many have served and died so that we can live without fear. It seems fitting that we would have to pay homage; hopefully more often than just once a year but that's an excellent place to start.

So, my question is how much of this did you know? And, don't read my article then say you knew all of it. Seriously, share with me. I am interested to know if I live under a rock or not.

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