Remembering Memorial Day in VBC

Originally called Decoration Day, Memorial Day is set aside as a day of remembrance and honor for those who have died in the service of the United States of America.

On the first Decoration Day on May 5th 1868, General James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery, and 5,000 participants decorated the graves of the 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers buried there. Memorial Day has since been expanded to include all those who have served and is observed in almost every state on the last Monday in May with Congressional passage of the National Holiday Act of 1971.

  • In traditional observance, the flag of the United States is to be raised briskly to the top of the staff and then solemnly lowered to the half-staff position, where it remains only until noon.
  • It is then 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.
  • Section 1082 of the 1998 Defense Authorization Act adds the flying of the POW-MIA flag on all Federal and U.S. Military Installations on Memorial Day.
  • The POW-MIA flag is to be half-staffed until noon along with the National flag.

The “National Moment of Remembrance” was passed in December of 2000. This resolution asks that all Americans "Voluntarily and informally observe (in their own way) a Moment of remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence or listening to "Taps.” at 3:00 p.m. local time.

In 1915, Moina Michael started the tradition of wearing a red poppy as a symbol, the proceeds she collected for the flowers were then sent to benefit servicemen in need. By Memorial Day in 1922, the Veteran's of Foreign Wars started nationally selling poppies, and their "'Buddy' Poppy program" began selling artificial poppies made by disabled veterans shortly after.

Other traditional observances include visiting cemeteries and placing flags or flowers on the graves of our fallen heroes, and visiting memorials.

For the fallen:
They go now so that We shall never be lost to the tides
and they will hold immortal in our hearts.  
-5/12/2015

Material from this post is sourced from www.usmemorialday.org/ please visit their site to learn more about Memorial Day.

Also check their page www.usmemorialday.org/memorialsfull.htm for a full alphabetical listing of Memorials and Casualty lists.