Memorial Day: Who Knew?

Memorial Day: Who Knew?

Southampton : NY : USA | May 24, 2009 at 6:53 AM PDT
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Arlington Cemetery Changing of the Guards

I really don't know anything about Memorial Day. I have been around for 56 Memorial Days and have no idea where it originated. So, here are some Memorial Day facts to give you a better understanding of why you have the day off.

On May 5, 1868, General John Logan proclaimed Memorial Day and had flowers placed on all the graves - both confederate and Union - at Arlington Cemetery. The South refused to honor Memorial Day until after World War I when they changed Memorial Day to honor soldiers lost in all wars, rather than just the Civil War.

Red Poppies were won on Memorial Day by Americans. This is based on the poem, In Flanders Field, by Moina Michael,

We cherish too, the Poppy red

That grows on fields where valor led,

It seems to signal to the skies

That blood of heroes never dies.

Here is the coolest thing. While you and I barely think about all the men and women who gave their lives in service to the United States, each year on the Thursday before Memorial Day, 1,200 soldiers in the 3rd US Infantry place small American flags on every grave at Arlington Cemetery. They patrol Arlington 24/7 through Memorial Day to ensure not one flag gets blown down. So those flags stand with perfect posture honoring those that lie there.

And, so that's it. Memorial Day... I am going to try and find a red poppy to put on my desk tomorrow.

God Bless America.

ChristineMer is based in Southampton, New York, United States of America, and is a Stringer on Allvoices.
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  • Hills and Heights » Memorial Day Events - Richmond, Virginia
    The paper red poppies that you see veterans accepting donations for has it's origins from Moina Michael who penned a poem in 1915, inspired by the poem “In Flanders Fields,”. We cherish too, the Poppy red ...
  • Memorial Day offers time of reflection and introspection | Lubbock ...
    "We cherish too, the Poppy red "That grows on fields where valor led, "It seems to signal to the skies "That blood of heroes never dies." - Moina Michael writing in 1915, inspired by the poem "In Flanders Fields" ...
  • Family Research Council
    ... the World War I era poem "In Flanders Fields" that describes the poppies blowing row upon row among the graves of fallen warriors of the Great War. You can gain a real appreciation of Memorial Day at Arlington National Cemetery. ...
  • Memorial Day « I'm Just Sayin
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  • Coffee with the Hermit: The Reason For The Red Poppy...
    Since World War I, poppies have been a symbol of remembrance at Memorial Day. The red poppy was used to symbolize the blood of those who died in service to their countries. The idea started in 1918 when American Moina Michael read the poem “In
  • Tahlequah Daily Press - Poppies with a purpose
    John McCrae in 1915, helped give the poppy status as a symbol of the nation's sacrifice. It also encouraged remembrance of the veterans on Decoration Day, which is now called Memorial Day. According to the Arlington Cemetery Web site, ...



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