Monday, May 26, 2014
Where Did Memorial Day Originate?
THE FORMAL STORY:
The Memorial Day that we celebrate today, started in 1868 with an order given by Maj. Gen. John A. Logan, the commander in chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, for the annual decoration of war graves. The observance was formerly known as Decoration Day.
The story goes that three years after the Civil War ended, on May 5, 1868, the head of an organization of Union veterans — the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) — established Decoration Day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. Maj. Gen. John A. Logan declared that Decoration Day should be observed on May 30. It is believed that date was chosen because flowers would be in bloom all over the country.
The first observance of "Decoration Day" was held in 1868 across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C at Arlington National Cemetery.
The ceremonies centered around the mourning-draped veranda of the Arlington mansion, once the home of Gen. Robert E. Lee. Various Washington officials, including Gen. and Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant, presided over the ceremonies. After speeches, children from the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Orphan Home and members of the GAR made their way through the cemetery, strewing flowers on both Union and Confederate graves, reciting prayers and singing hymns.
There are many other stories claiming to be the origins of Memorial Day...
Read more at http://www.snopes.com/military/memorialday.asp#z6pSPZOeSC42CsAI.99