by Janet Colliton, Daily Local News, 5/29/18
This Memorial Day week it seemed appropriate to research the background and history of one of our older holidays. As some articles have noted, Memorial Day is more than just the kick off to summer or the beginning of a weekend of sales.
How is it different from Veterans Day? How did it get started? I was curious.
According to an article by Jerry Turnquist in the Daily Herald, a suburban Chicago newspaper, this May 30, 2018 is noteworthy as marking the 150th anniversary of the first Memorial Day. Here, as in so many areas, sources may conflict on the beginning date for Memorial Day. However, all sources seem to agree that the U.S. Civil War was the impetus behind many of Memorial Day’s observances.
It is understandable that the Civil War could have led to Memorial Day commemorations since our country lost so many soldiers, North and South, in that war. Pennsylvania has a special connection with the Battle of Gettysburg, not too far from here.
What is the difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day? Memorial Day, previously often referred to as Decorations Day, specifically honors those who died for our country. Veterans Day honors all who served including veterans of all our wars and those alive today. The reference to Decorations Day is that many gravestones of fallen military were and have been decorated on Memorial Day in honor of their sacrifices….
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