By Kelly Sargent
For many of us, bringing planters, flowers, flags and other adornments to decorate the graves of family members on Memorial Day has been a tradition since we were small children. This weekend is also considered the unofficial start of summer; lots of grills are rolled out and fired up for use.
What we know as Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day and came into being after the Civil War ended to honor those who had been killed; an estimated 498,332 died in the war. Soon afterward, communities began holding springtime tributes to honor the fallen by decorating their graves and holding prayer services.
In 1868 General John A. Logan, who was a leader of an organization for Northern Civil War veterans, called for a national day of remembrance. His declaration read, “The 30th 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 churchyard in the land,”
When World War I came along, the holiday evolved to also honor those who died in that war too — and then World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. In 1968 Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which established Memorial Day as a federal holiday on the last Monday in May and became effective in 1971.
Unfortunately, many lives have been lost this past year including friends and family members of those of us at Tucker Law. On this Memorial Day, we send our heartfelt condolences to anyone who is grieving and wish you peace and healing.
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