As campers, many of us think of Memorial weekend as the official kickoff to the camping season, but as a holiday, Memorial Day holds much more significance. In honor of those who gave their all, here are a few facts about the history of the first three day weekend of the summer:
- Originally called Decoration Day, Memorial Day is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation’s service.
- Following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in April 1865, there were a variety of events of commemoration. The first known observance of a Memorial Day-type observance was in Charleston, South Carolina on May 1, 1865.
- Memorial Day was officially proclaimed after the Civil War on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic and was first observed on 30 May 1868.
- The holiday was soon adopted by most northern states, but it wasn’t adopted by the south until after World War I, when the holiday changed from honoring those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring all Americans who died fighting in any war.
- In 1971, Congress passed the National Holiday Act and Memorial Day was changed from being observed on the 30th of May to the last Monday in May.
- On Memorial Day the flag should be raised briskly to the top of the staff and then solemnly lowered to the half-staff position, where it should remain only until noon. At noon it should then be raised to full-staff for the remainder of the day. The half-staff position remembers the more than one million men and women who gave their lives in service of their country. At noon their memory is raised by the living, who resolve not to let their sacrifice be in vain, but to rise up in their stead and continue the fight for liberty and justice for all.
We Camp Here would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the American servicemen and women who have given their all while fighting for our freedom. We also would like to wish all of our users a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend. Thank you for letting us help you get there!
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