Traditional Memorial Day Observance
The original date of May 30 was chosen as the date to celebrate Memorial Day for two reasons; the first was because May 30 was a day recorded as having no Civil War battles, and the second reason was because flowers would be in full bloom, for decorating graves, by this time in May.
As you may recall, on June 28, 1968, the United States Congress passed the Uniform Holidays Bill, which moved three holidays from their traditional dates to a specified Monday in order to create a convenient three-day weekend. The holidays included Washington's Birthday, now celebrated as President's Day; Veteran's Day and Memorial Day. The change moved Memorial Day from it's traditional May 30 date to the last Monday in May. (In 1978 Veteran's Day was returned to it's traditional date of November 11, and most corporate businesses no longer close on Veteran's Day).
Many people feel that Memorial Day should be changed back to it's traditional date of May 30, because of the significance of why that date was chosen in the first place. It is the feeling that, with it being in a three-day weekend, a majority of the people view Memorial Day as just another day to play. They have forgotten the meaning behind the day.
"Traditional observance of Memorial Day has diminished over the years. Many Americans nowadays have forgotten the meaning and traditions of Memorial Day. At many cemetery's, the graves of the fallen are increasingly ignored and neglected. Most people no longer remember the proper flag etiquette for the day. While there are towns and cities that still hold Memorial Day parades, many have not held a parade in decades. Some people think the day is for honoring any and all dead, and not just those fallen in service to our country." (usmemorialday.org)
Memorial Day Observance
How can we best honor those men and women who have given their lives in service to our country this Memorial Day, Monday, May 31?
- By visiting cemetery's and placing flags or flowers on the graves of our fallen heroes.
- By visiting Memorials.
- By flying the U.S. flag at half-staff until noon.
- By flying the 'POW/MIA flag' as well.
- By participating in a "National Moment of Remembrance" at 3 p.m. (local time) to pause and think upon the true meaning of the day, and for Taps to be played.
- By renewing a pledge to aid the widows, widowers and orphans of our fallen dead, and to aid the disabled veterans.
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