OpEdNews Op Eds

Memorial Day History, Tradition, Honor: Remembering the Fallen

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 2 pages)
Related Topic(s): , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com

By John E. Carey
May 26, 2007

Created by Civil War widows to honor their dead, Memorial Day was first called Decoration Day. The day marked the annual “decoration” of graves with flowers.

Today, Memorial Day honors all war dead, and, as at Arlington National Cemetery, it has become customary to decorate the graves with a small American Flag instead of flowers.

Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on May 5th, 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on May 30, 1868.

On Memorial Day, at Arlington National Cemetery, traditionally the President or Vice President lays a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

The occasion is also marked in almost every State on the last Monday in May. Several southern states, however, have an additional, separate day for honoring the Confederate war dead: January 19 in Texas, April 26 in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi; May 10 in South Carolina; and June 3 (Jefferson Davis’ birthday) in Louisiana and Tennessee.

The newest “tradition” perhaps of Memorial Day is the annual tribute to The Fallen in Washington DC provided by “Rolling Thunder.”

The major function of Rolling Thunder®, Inc. is to publicize POW-MIA issues: To educate the public that many American prisoners of war were left behind after all previous wars and to help correct the past and to protect future veterans from being left behind should they become prisoners of war-missing in action.

Rolling Thunder is also committed to helping American veterans from all wars.

Rolling Thunder®, Inc. is a non-profit organization. Members donate their time because they believe in the issues they support.
(See: http://www.rollingthunder1.com/)

Here is General Logan’s official order:

General Orders No.11, WASHINGTON, D.C., May 5, 1868

The 30th day of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet church-yard in the land.

In this observance no form of ceremony is prescribed, but posts and comrades will in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit.

We are organized, comrades, as our regulations tell us, for the purpose among other things, “of preserving and strengthening those kind and fraternal feelings which have bound together the soldiers, sailors, and marines who united to suppress the late rebellion.”

What can aid more to assure this result than cherishing tenderly the memory of our heroic dead, who made their breasts a barricade between our country and its foes?

Next Page  1  |  2

 

http://peace-and-freedom.blogspot.com/

John E. Carey is the former president of International Defense Consultants, Inc.

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon


Go To Commenting

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles
Related Topic(s): , Add Tags

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Myanmar Shuns Best Hope For People

Human Rights Issues In Communist Southeast Asia: Red Alert

Memorial Day History, Tradition, Honor: Remembering the Fallen

World Alzheimer's Awareness day

Rumsfeld Needs to Go: Retired Generals Tell Congress

Baker, Hamilton Commission on Iraq Reports

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
2 people are discussing this page, with 2 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

This is not a caustic criticism, just a lament bec... by Mark Sashine on Tuesday, May 29, 2007 at 7:13:24 AM
Namaste.... by carl on Tuesday, May 29, 2007 at 10:52:27 PM