Memorial Day History & Traditions

May 25th, 2012 by admin

The tradition of Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, began as a way to honor soldiers who died in the Civil War. Even before the end of the war, organized groups of Southern women were putting flowers on the graves. People spontaneously began honoring the fallen in many different towns. The official proclamation came three years after the end of the Civil War in 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic. The first official observance was on May 30, 1886 when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. It is thought that a day in May was selected so that fresh flowers would be available.

By 1890, all the Northern states had recognized the holiday. Over 24 towns claimed to be the origination location of Memorial Day, and finally in 1966, Waterloo, New York was selected for that official title. After World War I, when the holiday was changed to honor Americans who died fighting in all of our wars, the South finally recognized Memorial Day. Several Southern states still have separate days to honor the Confederacy.

The red poppy is the official flower of Memorial Day. Inspired by the poem, “In Flanders Fields”, in 1915 Moina Michael started the practice of selling and wearing red poppies to honor the fallen heroes. The money collected was then donated to service people in need.

In 2000 a “National Moment of Remembrance” was established to be observed every Memorial Day at 3:00 PM local time. Taps may be played and a moment of silence and respect is observed. The White House “National Moment of Remembrance” memorandum asked all Americans to “come together to recognize how fortunate we are to live in freedom…. This memorial observance represents a simple and unifying way to commemorate our history and honor the struggle to protect our freedoms.”

Memorial Day has become the unofficial start of summer. It’s time to start wearing white shoes again. People celebrate this federal holiday with parades, picnics, concerts, races, ball games and more. We wish you a happy and safe Memorial Day holiday. Have lots of fun and let’s all observe that “National Moment of Remembrance” at 3:00PM on Monday to honor those who sacrificed for our freedoms.

COMMWORLD of Kansas City will be closed on Monday, May 28th in observance of Memorial Day. Emergency service is always available for our clients.

Bob & Linda Bennett
and the COMMWORLD of KC Team


Posted in: Uncategorized