Sunday, May 24, 2009
Happy Memorial Day
The First Official Memorial Day
May 30, 1868
Southern women decorated the graves of soldiers even before the end of the Civil War. After the war, a women's memorial association in Columbus, Mississippi, put flowers on the graves of both Confederate and Union soldiers in 1866, an act of generosity that inspired the poem by Francis Miles Finch, "The Blue and the Grey," published in the Atlantic Monthly.
The founder of the Federal Memorial Day, Gen. John A. Logan (Commander in Chief of the Grand Army of the Republic), was so impressed with the way the South honored their dead with a special day, he became convinced that such a day must be created to honor Union dead. The battlefield graves all around Richmond could be seen "marked with little white flags, faded wreaths of laurel" where family and friends of Confederate soldiers had placed them. Logan is reported to have been "deeply touched" and said "it was most fitting; that the ancients, especially the Greeks, had honored their dead, particularly their heroes, by chaplets of laurel and flowers, and that he intended to issue an order designating a day for decorating the grave of every soldier in this land, and if he could he would have made it a holiday." This of course was done at a later date, thus our National Memorial Day.
To our Heroes, none are so small as those who haven't served - with their heart, soul and body. Our Heroes presence is felt in every wave of every flag on every day - it is seen in the ripples as the wind unfurls their colors. It is heard in the shared stories of lives lived and lost.
Thank you Daddy, for being my Hero.