There was a time when Memorial Day wasn't about barbeques, the opening of swimming pools, parades and fireworks. Formerly known as Decoration Day, it originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the fallen Union soldiers of the Civil War. The "Decoration" came from organizations of southern women and schoolchildren who had decorated Confederate graves in Richmond and other cities during the Civil War. Each region had their own date to decorate; most were in May. By the 20th century, Memorial Day had been extended to honor all Americans who have died in all wars.
When we reached out on Facebook and Twitter to find out how all our fans and followers were going to be celebrating Memorial Day this year, the response was fairly subdued. After watching the annual parade or running in the holiday 5K, many were planning on returning home for a quiet cook-out or just some relaxation time. Maybe the opportunity for some quiet reflection and appreciation is exactly what most of us are looking for this Monday. A quiet Memorial Day may be in store for many this year, which is reminiscent of the roots of the holiday.
In the true spirit of the day we encourage you to also take some time to celebrate the decoration day by placing a remembrance in honor of those who have served our country. Simply placing a flag, or a flower, at your local war memorial, cemetery, history center, etc. is a quiet way to enjoy your day off while showing your appreciation. The original decorators knew that this seemingly small gesture made an extremely large impact on all who saw their decorations, proving that our country's heroes are never forgotten.