This week Issues has dedicated our entire ezine to Memorial Day, its history, the Wars that shapes America and the Veterans that fought those wars. Please follow the links in the next column to visit the pages as they become available on the web.
I apologize for not having all of the pages available on Sunday as Issues policy, but as any of you who are loyal readers do know, my leg often restricts me from accomplishing event he easiest of tasks. The articles have been researched, and the rough drafts have been completed, but have not all been edited. Therefore, I shall list our regular pages, adding the Memorial Day pages as they become edited, so chewck back often.
Again, I express my apologies for the delay, and my appreciation in your continued support.
LET US HONOR THOSE WHO HAVE SHAPED OUR COUNTRY THROUGHOUT HISTORY
Now For A Little History Lesson
All About Memorial Day in America
There seems a dispute as to the historical beginnings of Memorial Day, so in all fairness, Issues shall offer both versions:
One of the first communities to celebrate Memorial Day was Waterloo, New York. Henry C. Welles, a druggist, decided that Waterloo should hold a celebration to honor those who had fought and died in the Civil War. It is claimed that he suggested the graves of Civil War soldiers be decorated, and the surviving men be honored with a parade. According to legend, on May 5, 1866, Welles, with the help of General John B. Murray, a civil war hero decorated the Village of Waterloo, with flags at half-mast, draped with evergreens and mourning black. Veterans, civic societies and residents, led by General Murray, then marched to the to the three village cemeteries, where remembrance ceremonies were held and soldiers' graves decorated. One year later, May 5, 1867, these ceremonies were repeated. In 1868, Waterloo joined with other communities in holding their observance on May 30th, in accordance with General Logan's orders.
The second, another extremely reliable history appears like this:
Memorial Day was officially proclaimed in 1868 by General John Logan, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on May 30, 1868, by placing flowers on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. ("The 30th day of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet church-yard in the land. In this observance no form of ceremony is prescribed, but posts and comrades will in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit.")
Claims have been made that the South refused to acknowledge the traditional Memorial Day, choosing to honor their dead on separate days until after World War I (at which time the holiday changed, honoring all War dead rather than just those who died in the Civil War). Memorial Day is now celebrated in every State on the last Monday in May (passed by Congress in 1968 to ensure a three day weekend for Federal holidays), although several southern states have an additional, separate day for honoring the Confederate war dead: January 19 in Texas, (Confederate's Hero Day); April 22 in Alabama, (Confederate Memorial Day): April 26 in Florida, Georgia, (Both: Confederate Memorial Day) The Last Monday of April in Mississippi, (Confederate Memorial Day) ; May 10 in North Carolina and South Carolina, (Confederate Memorial Day); The last Monday in May in Virginia, and June 3 (Jefferson Davis' birthday) in Kentucky, Louisiana and Tennessee (Jefferson Davis' Birthday).