MemorialDay5

In Honor of Those Who Served

Corrosion Materials will be closed on Monday, May 28 in observance of Memorial Day. We will return on Tuesday, May 29.

We wish you and yours a happy and safe Memorial Day weekend.

 

The History of Memorial Day

Every Memorial Day, Americans unite to remember and honor those who gave their lives in service of our country. As worthy of a cause as that is, the way the states celebrated that idea was not uniform at first.

The holiday was originally proposed by General John Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic, a group of Union veterans. He wanted a day to honor soldiers who died in the Civil War by covering their graves with flowers. He reportedly chose May 30 because it didn’t overlap with the anniversary of any battles—and plenty of flowers would be in bloom by then.

The first Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, was held on May 30, 1868, at Arlington National Cemetery. A crowd of 5,000 came to decorate the graves of 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers. Then, as now, small American flags were placed on each grave — a tradition followed at many national cemeteries today.

In 1971, Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act and established that Memorial Day was to be commemorated on the last Monday of May. Memorial Day is commemorated at Arlington National Cemetery each year with a ceremony in which a small American flag is placed on each grave. Traditionally, the President or Vice President lays a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

 

“We do not know one promise these men made, one pledge they gave, one word they spoke; but we do know they summed up and perfected, by one supreme act, the highest virtues of men and citizens. For love of country they accepted death, and thus resolved all doubts, and made immortal their patriotism and their virtue.”

– James A. Garfield
May 30, 1868 Arlington National Cemetery

Source: PBS.org ; Reader’s Digest

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