How Did Memorial Day Come About?
While many people look forward to Memorial Day since it’s the official start of the summer season, let’s not forget the true essence of this solemn occasion. Originally known as Decoration Day, this special day serves as an occasion for all Americans to remember and pay tribute to the thousands of our brave men and women in our armed forces who lost their lives while serving our nation.
Many of us spend the holiday visiting the tombs of our fallen heroes in cemeteries or memorial parks, watching parades, or holding family gatherings. Every year, a ceremony is held at the Arlington National Cemetery, with each grave decorated with a small American flag. As part of the annual tradition, the President places a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
So, how did Memorial Day really begin? Who was responsible for creating such an event? Continue reading as we take you back to the roots of this significant day.
History of Memorial Day
The first Memorial Day observance took place on May 30, 1868, with General John A. Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic making the proclamation. Former Union General James Garfield made a speech to commemorate the 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers who lost their lives in the Civil War.
Americans traditionally observe the day by decorating graves with flags, flowers, and wreaths. Hence, the occasion was known as Decoration Day during its early years. Many Northern states eventually followed suit and held similar events to honor their dead. By 1890, each of these states had officially declared Decoration Day a state holiday. As for Southern states, they continued to pay homage to their deceased soldiers on separate days until the end of World War I.
Initially, Memorial Day was intended to honor only those military personnel who lost their lives in the Civil War. It was only after the United States got engaged in another major conflict during World War I did the government decide to pay tribute to all American soldiers killed in any war.
Where Did It Really Originate?
There’s no certainty regarding the birthplace of Memorial Day since towns such as Charleston, Columbus, Waterloo, and many others have all claimed the title of being the first to observe the occasion. However, in 1873, New York became the first state to observe it as a legal holiday. The event became more established as a national holiday after World War I, with Americans in almost all parts of the country gathering to remember their fallen ones on Memorial Day.
When’s the Exact Date of Memorial Day?
Although May 30 of each year was the original date for observing Decoration Day, the U.S. Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act in 1968, changing the observance of Memorial Day to every last Monday of May to give federal employees a three-day weekend. The change took effect three years later.
Support Our Veterans Today
Showing our utmost respect and appreciation to our fallen heroes is as meaningful as helping the living ones who are struggling in their transition to civilian life. All it takes to provide meaningful assistance to our veterans is for you to team up with us at Veteran Car Donations.
By handing to us any vehicle that you no longer need, you’ll be helping transform the lives of our veterans who are suffering from service-connected disabilities, mental health issues, lack of jobs, and homelessness due to poverty. Any vehicle that enters our program becomes a source of funding for the various services being provided by our nonprofit partners. These IRS-approved 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations provide deserving veterans with mortgage-free and specially adapted homes, free mental healthcare, employment opportunities, job training, transitioning assistance, tutoring support, education scholarships, financial assistance, and many other benefits.
If you’re planning to get rid of an unwanted vehicle anytime soon, we’ll be more than happy to have it. Not only will you be transforming the lives of needy veterans in your community, but you’ll also receive rewards for your charitable contribution, including free towing services and a hefty tax deduction after we auction off your vehicle. You’ll also enjoy our quick, convenient, and hassle-free donation process where you don’t have to do any paperwork.
You can donate to Veteran Car Donations by filling out our secure online donation form or calling us directly. We accept donations of nearly all types of vehicles regardless of age and condition. You can also make your donation wherever you are in the United States since we have vehicle donation programs in all 50 states.
Ready to Show Your Support to Our Heroes?
Are you ready to show your gratitude and support to our nation’s heroes? Join the nation in the observance of Memorial Day on May 27 by donating a vehicle for the benefit of our veterans. Call us at 877-594-5822 now!