With the world mostly still staying at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many organizations have decided to move their Memorial Day observances online. One such celebration is Ancestry’s Memorial Day Parade of Heroes. A live stream is embedded below.
The Parade of Heroes Memorializes the 75th Anniversary of the End of World War II
According to Ancestry’s Facebook page:
This Memorial Day, instead of streets filled with fire trucks, vintage cars, proud veterans, and their families, Ancestry will help people commemorate from home by hosting a virtual Memorial Day “Parade of Heroes,” streaming right here on Ancestry’s Facebook page!
In a 45-minute live production, the parade will memorialize the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II and bring to life stories of strength and hope through exclusive veteran interviews and special tributes.
Hosted by Emmy award-winning television personality Kathie Lee Gifford, the parade will also feature musical performances by two-time GRAMMY award-winning singer-songwriter Tori Kelly + more, and an opportunity to share your story and meet others in the live community chat.
To honor your veteran from home before, during, and after the parade, we invite you to share your veteran’s story in a post on your own Instagram or Facebook. Tag us in the photo of your veteran, add #RememberAtHome and @Ancestry, and your story could be featured on our pages when the parade continues on social media afterwards!
The History of Memorial Day
Memorial Day as we know it dates back to 1868 when it was called “Decoration Day” in a proclamation by General John A. Logan of Illinois, according to “Decoration Day in the Mountains: Traditions of Cemetery Decoration in the Southern Appalachians” by Alan Jabbour and Karen Singer Jabbour. An organization of Union army veterans called the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) quickly established Decoration Day as a “time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers,” according to the Constitution Center.
Prior to that, several states had their own versions of a day to honor those who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces, but the 1868 proclamation is really what got the ball rolling in turning Memorial Day into a national holiday. By 1890, every state had made “Decoration Day” an official state holiday and the cemetery ceremonies were becoming more consistent from state to state.
The GAR said that Decoration Day should always be observed on May 30 because that would be when flowers were blooming across most of the country. Over the years, the use of “Memorial Day” became more and more common until finally, the federal government adopted “Memorial Day” as the official title in 1967. The Uniform Holidays Bill of 1968 is what moved Memorial Day to the last Monday in May and that is how Memorial Day has been observed since.
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