Memorial Day is here, and those looking to honor the holiday should look no further for what to post on Instagram and Facebook.
Memorial Day falls on May 27 this year, and is a day of remembrance, recognizing those who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.
“Patriotism consists not in waving the flag, but in striving that our country shall be righteous as well as strong.” – James Bryce
“Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.”
“As Ameican celebrates Memorial Day, we pay tribute to those who have given their lives in our nation’s wars.” – John M. McHugh
“Memorial Day this year is especially important as we are reminded almost daily of the great sacrifices that the men and women of the Armed Services make to defend our way of life.” – Robin Hayes
“Without memory, there is no culture. Without memory, there would be no civilization, no future.” – Elie Wiesel
“And they who for their country die shall fill an honored grave, for glory lights the soldier’s tomb, and beauty weeps the brave.” – Joseph Rodman Drake
“Our nation owes a debt to its fallen heroes that we can never fully repay.” – Barack Obama
Originally the holiday was known as Decoration Day, according to History.com. The outlet states that Memorial Day has its roots in the Civil War, which claimed more US lives than any other conflict in US history and led to the creation of many of the country’s first national cemeteries. The Civil War resulted in the loss of approximately 620,000 soldiers.
In the 1860s, Americans honored those who had passed during the war by decorating their graves with flowers and reciting prayers. In 1966, the federal government declared Waterloo, New York, the birthplace of Memorial Day, and the first Memorial Day was celebrated on May 5, 1866.
History.com writes, “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.” In 1873, New York became the first state to designate Memorial Day a legal holiday. According to Mental Floss, a number of other northern states did the same by the 1890s.
They go on to write, “The states of the former Confederacy were unenthusiastic about a holiday memorializing those who, in General Logan’s words, ‘united to suppress the late rebellion.’ The South didn’t adopt the May 30 Memorial Day until after World War I, by which time its purpose had been broadened to include those who died in all the country’s wars.”