Memorial Day, or Decoration Day, is a federal holiday in the United States for remembering and honoring persons who have died while serving in the Unites State Armed Forces.  

The holiday was first observed in l868. It is the most solemn day of the year for those of us who have “worn the uniform” and for our families and friends.

There are numerous stories about how this holiday originated. It is also very controversial. The practice of decorating soldier’s graves with flowers is an ancient custom and started in the United States before and during the American Civil War.

On June 3, 1861 in Warrenton, Virginia, the first Civil War soldiers’ grave was decorated, according to a Richmond Times-Dispatch newspaper article in l906.

In 1862, women in Savannah, Georgia decorated Confederate soldiers’ graves according to the Savannah Republican. The l862 cemetery dedication at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, was a ceremony of commemoration at the graves of dead soldiers. Some have therefore claimed that President Lincoln was the founder of Memorial Day.  

On July 4, 1864, ladies decorated soldiers’ graves, according to local historians in Boalsburg, Pennsylvania.  Boalsburg promotes itself as the birthplace of Memorial Day.

On May 5, 1868, General John A. Logan, issued a proclamation calling for “Decoration Day” to be observed annually and nationwide. He was commander-in-chief of the Grand Army of the Republic.  

Since many of us use computers in our everyday business and personal life; you can research Memorial Day for yourself and read a lot more.

Memorial Day is also known as the unofficial start of summer in the United States. (I did not know that either.)  Regardless, it is a most solemn day all across the country and every town and city in the USA observes it that way.

I usually take some time that day to visit the graves of our military in the Alba Cemetery. It is a private time for me and others for reflection on the lives and deaths of many close to us and others for their call to duty.

God Bless America and our troops!