Memorial Day

 

Decoration Day postcard of a woman in mourning clothes at the grave of a Civil War soldier, 1908. Credit: Warshaw Collection of Business Americana – Civil War, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.

… is for remembrance. It is held in honor of those who fell in battle.

This piece in Diversityinc has a terrific account that includes suggestions on appropriate things to say. They do not include “happy Memorial Day.”

One thing that Luke Visconti mentioned in an NPR interview  was the origins of the day. People decorated the graves of the soldiers who gave their lives for the Union in the Civil War. Daddy said when he was a boy, the South did not recognize it.

The Smithsonian’s American History website makes the point that the people most active in the first Decoration Days were women and African Americans, two groups marginalized during the actual fighting. They did, however, play major support roles.

Since the early years of the twentieth century Memorial Day has expanded to honor those from subsequent wars who died in battle.

On this day, let us pay tribute to the fallen.

And please, no fireworks.

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