Things you may not know about Memorial Day

Today we celebrate and ho or those who have died in the service of our country over many generations. The president will lay a wreath at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier, a monument guarded 24/7. A baler, somewhere, will sound the familiar notes of Taps. I’m sure I’ll cry, because I usually do.

But what do we really know about Memorial Day?

  1. One of the first known public tributes to war dead was in 431 B.C., when the Athenian general and statesman Pericles delivered a funeral oration praising the sacrifice and valor of those killed in the Peloponnesian War.
  2. On May 1, 1865, more than 1,000 recently freed slaves, accompanied by regiments of the U.S. Colored Troops (including the Massachusetts 54th Infantry) and a handful of white Charlestonians, gathered in the camp to consecrate a new, proper burial site for the Union dead.
  3. In May 1868, General John A. Logan, the commander-in-chief of the Union veterans’ group known as the Grand Army of the Republic, issued a decree that May 30 should become a nationwide day of commemoration for the more than 620,000 soldiers killed in the recently ended Civil War.
  4. In April 1886, the Ladies Memorial Association of Columbus, Georgia resolved to commemorate the fallen once a year—a decision that seems to have influenced John Logan to follow suit.
  5. It didn’t become a federal holiday until 1971.
  6. Officially known as Decoration Day for more than a century, it was changed by Federal Law in 1964, and subsequently to the 4th Monday in May.
  7. The raising of the flag on Mt. Suribachi in WWII has become an iconic symbol of the men and women who fight for us.

 

 

So today, whether you have a family member in the military, or a friend, or just know the contributions of our military, let’s honor those who have served, those who have died, and this who continue to serve our country.

 

And take a minute to check out two of my favorite books Iive written about the military, from the series Strike Force, about a Delta Force Team.

 

 Unconditional Surrender

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ITUNES

KOBO

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Lock and Load. 

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KOBO

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