Memorial Day is a time to honor all the brave men and women who lost their lives in times of military conflict. What’s less known is how the holiday started. That is largely thanks to one man, General John Logan.
General Logan led an extraordinary life, by even the loftiest standards. At different points in his career, he was a United States congressman, a senator, and even a candidate for the office of vice president. But, he will likely be most remembered for his efforts to bring about a holiday that would honor fallen soldiers.
Originally, Logan called the holiday “Decoration Day.” He was inspired to create it as a way to help bring the country back together after the Civil War led to so many divisions. General Logan held the first Decoration Day on May 30, 1868. He chose that date for two reasons: First, there were no Civil War battle anniversaries on that day, and second, flowers would likely be blooming across the country.
Memorial Day has since become an official federal holiday, although some might argue that the day’s focus has shifted from honoring fallen soldiers to picnics and barbeques. Of course, there’s no reason we can’t have both. The National Moment of Remembrance hopes to bring the original intention of the holiday back into focus. For one minute, at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day, people are asked to stop what they’re doing and silently think about the sacrifices that have been made in the name of the country.
How do you guys plan to celebrate Memorial Day? What traditions mean the most to you? Do you have any inspired ways to honor the men and women of the military on Memorial Day? Please leave a comment below.
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