Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation’s service. Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on May 5, 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, and was first observed on May 30, 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.
The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war. In 1971 Congress passed the National Holiday Act which moved Memorial Day from May 30 to the last Monday in May.
This weekend, we pause to remember and honor all those brave men and women who died on far away battle fields to bring freedom and democracy to oppressed peoples around the world and to protect the freedom of our own country. We honor their memories and give thanks to their families for the ultimate sacrifice they made for their country.
In Sunday’s message “The Importance of Memorials” we will search the scriptures for God’s teachings on the importance of keeping memorials. Weekly Bulletin May 27, 2012