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Monday, May 29, 2023

Memorial Day by Bea Tifton

Filling in for Beth Trissel, and I apologize for the late posting. Totally my fault, not hers. 


I have a friend who gets upset when people chirp, “Happy Memorial Day!”.  She’s a veteran, and she feels that the day should be regarded more seriously. It is a day for mourning those who gave their lives for our country, after all. I do think we should celebrate their lives, and that sometimes the original purpose of Memorial Day can get lost in picnics and cookouts. But aren’t we celebrating that we can still celebrate? That we are a free country, ravaged as it is by politically-driven cultural divides.

Memorial Day began in 1868 as a day to recognize the Civil War soldiers who died in combat. The day was called Decoration Day because people would observe the day by going to gravesites and cleaning up the area and leaving wreaths and flowers at graves. New York was the first state to declare Decoration Day a national holiday in 1873, and due to public requests, most states followed. As a result of World War I, the day was firmly established in the country as a day to recognize those veterans who died in wars.

In 1971, Congress passed a law that Memorial Day would be a national holiday occurring each year on the last Monday of May. Today, people leave a wreath on each grave at the Arlington National Cemetery and the president or vice president will leave a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

But, while I firmly believe that we should recognize and remember those who have died in wars, I still think its okay to celebrate. Celebrate by coming together.  Putting aside political differences and sharing a meal, a day, some fellowship.  This is still America, after all.

                                                   How do you celebrate Memorial Day? 

Pexel Photo Credits: 
Askar Abayev "Two Men Grilling Meat Together"
Mizuno K "Two Teenage Girls Having Picnic in Park"
Public Domain Pictures "Purple Red White and Orange Fireworks Display"
Nadi Lindsay "Selective Focus Close-Up Photo of Red Poppy Flower"


  1. We also remember those we have lost for any reason. Certainly we should honor those who served in our military, but those at home also made sacrifices.

  2. I"m from a four-generation military family of men who served in World War I, World War II, Vietnam, and the Middle East. Servicemen do not like when people mix up the days honoring those who are still live or who have died while serving our country. Armed Forces Day honors Americans serving in the military. Veterans Day honors all military veterans who served in the United States Armed Forces. Memorial Day (originally known as Decoration Day) is for honoring and mourning the U.S. military personnel who died while serving. But yes, I think we should remember those families who have lost loved ones during a war, or a needless public shooting--or sadly, whenever innocents leave our world too soon.

  3. We celebrate it in more than one way. Although we honor those who have served and died, we also tend to mention our veterans. It's our wedding anniversary weekend and usually someone in the extended family has graduated as well. I know these things take away from the intent of the holiday, and yet--especially in these days--I can't feel that celebration is bad or that those who served would think it is, either.

  4. Many "Decoration" celebrations in my youth- for the local country cemeteries- The week before, we cleaned the graves, and mounded the dirt (instead of grass growing on the graves) then we brought flowers and food and spent the day decorating the graves-


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