Updated: Feb 7
Memorial Day, previously known as Decoration Day, is a United States Federal Holiday for mourning and honoring US Armed Forces military soldiers who died in their line of duty. Most people fete the holiday by visiting memorials and cemeteries to honor the fallen soldiers.
Different traditions are observed throughout the day to honor and commemorate the fallen heroes. However, some contradictions surround this special day, and in this post, we unveil facts and things you probably didn't know about Memorial Day.
But before then, let’s look at its history. Read on!
History of Memorial Day
Memorial Day history is complex. However, history has it that the Federal holiday has been around since 1860. Since then, celebrations were done each year until 1970.
Who founded Memorial Day?
General John A. Logan, a commander in chief of the Union Veterans group, a.k.a Grand Army of the Republic, is the founder of Memorial Day. In 1868, John ordered May 30th to be a special day for commemorating 620 000 soldiers who lost their lives fighting for freedom.
On Decoration Day, Americans graced the graves of the fallen soldiers with flowers.
Before the Civil war ended, women from the South were holding informal gatherings to decorate the graves of the fallen. It is said Logan could have borrowed the concept from early events that took place in the South.
When was Memorial Day Founded?
In 1971, the holiday ceased to be Decorations day and was officially named Memorial Day. This was after the Civil war ended. Decorations day was celebrated on May 30th, but it is usually celebrated on the last Monday of May after it was renamed.
Before the first US celebration in the 19th century, the Romans and Greeks had annual days for commemorating their loved ones and soldiers. The celebrations involved holding public holidays and gracing their graves with flowers.
However, over 20 places claim to be behind the birth of Memorial Day, but Federal Government credits only one. This has brought rivalry as to who was the first to introduce the holiday.
Difference Between Memorial Day And Veterans Day
Most people tend to confuse Memorial Day and Veterans Day. And here is the difference between the two special holidays.
Memorial Day: A Federal holiday for commemorating military men and women who died in their line of duty while fighting selflessly for their nation. Usually, Memorial Day is celebrated on the last Monday of May every year.
Veteran Day: This is a Federal Holiday in the US set aside to honor and celebrate Military veterans, both Alive and Dead, who served in peacetime and wartime. Veterans Day is celebrated on November 11th every year. Learn more about Veterans Day here.
Memorial Day Traditions
On Memorial Day at 3:00 PM in the US, a national remembrance takes place.
The American flag is hung half-mast until noon before being raised to full-mast.
People across America take their time to place the National flag on every grave in national cemeteries.
Others wear a red poppy to commemorate the fallen soldiers, which started with World War 1 Poem.
Wearing a poppy is not only popular during Memorial Day celebrations but also on Veterans Day. The culture has evolved and has spread to allied countries like California, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand and is popular on Remembrance Day on November 11th.
Memorial Day marks the beginning of summer unofficially. It is a long weekend for some. Some opt to throw parties, go on weekend holidays, or relax with family and friends during the weekend.
Memorial Day Spa Special Offers
If you are wondering where to spend the weekend, I suggest you treat yourself at a spa. This could be a great place to connect with friends and family as you enjoy lunch, champagne. Check out some of the Memorial Day special offers.
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Eucalyptus Body Healing Therapy 2hrs- $249
This delicious wrap starts with the Loofah Body Buff at the Hammam - The Eucalyptus herbs and oils will exfoliate every inch of your body; this treatment will help invigorate cell regeneration, followed by a Hand and Foot Reflexology, Scalp Massage, and a Refresher Facial. Aaahhh… Book Now
MICRODERMABRASION FACIAL THERAPY $149 - 90min
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Honoring The Fallen
At Contour Day Spa, we honor and commemorate our fallen soldiers who fought tirelessly for America. It is their selfless love for our country that we enjoy the freedom we have today. To the close friends, family, and loved ones of the fallen soldiers, we honor you.
How are you planning to celebrate Memorial Day? We would like to know. See you in the comment section.