Today we celebrate Memorial Day. It is a time where America remembers the men and women who fell in service to our country. Many visit gravesites, come together as families to share in elaborate meals. Some go camping to enjoy the beginnings of warm weather. Others party like there is no tomorrow. When did Memorial Day start? What are the roots of the national holiday we look forward to every year? I could not answer my own question. The historian in me felt appalled. Apparently, it was time for a Google search.
Here is the scoop. Memorial Day was made an official national holiday in 1971. It evolved from Decoration Day, an unofficial holiday that commemorated soldiers who gave their lives on the battlefield during the American Civil War. Historians theorize that honoring fallen comrades has ancient origins. The first account was 480 B.C. in Athens. If you would like to know more, have a look at this History.com article.
Have a safe and happy Memorial Day!
Thank you for reading.
J. R. Lowe