Monday, May 2, 2011

Memorial Day is more than a long weekend...

If you're like me, you may want to put the meaning back in the long holiday weekend at the end of the school year.  According to an article in Time for Kids (,28277,1808979,00.html):
The holiday got started on May 30, 1868, when Union General John A. Logan declared the day an occasion to decorate the graves of Civil War soldiers. Twenty years later, the name was changed to Memorial Day. On May 11, 1950, Congress passed a resolution requesting that the President issue a proclamation calling on Americans to observe each Memorial Day as a day of prayer for permanent peace and designating a period on that day when the people of the United States might unite in prayer. President Richard M. Nixon declared Memorial Day a federal holiday in 1971. Memorial Day is now observed on the last Monday of May. It is an occasion to honor the men and women who died in all wars.
Perhaps the perfect place to discuss the significance of the holiday is at Arlington National Cemetery's official website (  Their photo album holds images of the solemn ceremonies and vast expanses of evenly spaced graves.  Also included are links with more information about the sites at Arlington, including the Tomb of the Unknowns.  But I think the richest resource they offer is on the Historical Information page.  Information about the history of the cemetery along with an expansive list of the famous politicians, explorers, minorities and presidents buried there is a capsule of American history. I get chills just writing about the Arlington National Cemetery.  If you haven't been there, this is the next best thing.  After a tour of their website, you'll get on the bandwagon to put the "memorial" back in Memorial Day.

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