goAUPAIR Harrisburg, Lancaster, Lebanon, PA and suburbs

Keeping Host families & Au Pairs in the Harrisburg area updated and informed!

Why are we celebrating Memorial Day?

on May 27, 2011

While many American families and their Au Pair will mark Memorial Day this weekend with outdoor barbecues as the first celebration of summer, few may know the history of the holiday. This special day has roots stretching back more than 140 years to the Civil War.

The very first Memorial Day commemoration was proclaimed on May 5, 1868. An U.S. Army general ordered flowers laid on the graves of both Union and Confederate soldiers at the newly established Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia (the former home of vanquished Confederate general Robert E. Lee), according to the website usmemorialday.org.

Northern states gradually adopted Memorial Day as a state holiday over the next 20 years, but Southern states refused to join in (hosting their own memorials on different days) until after World War I, when the holiday shifted from honoring only Civil War dead to all American war dead.

In 1971, the U.S. Congress formalized the holiday on the last Monday in May. The traditional symbol of Memorial Day, the red poppy, sprang from a 1915 poem by John McCrae that compared the crimson petals of the hearty wildflower to the spilled blood of soldiers who died in battle.

Happy Memorial Day to you all!

Noemie

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One response to “Why are we celebrating Memorial Day?

  1. […] Why are we celebrating Memorial Day? Posted on June 4, 2011 by Go Au Pair Glendale While many American families and their Au Pair will mark Memorial Day this weekend with outdoor barbecues as the first celebration of summer, few may know the history of the holiday. This special day has roots stretching back more than 140 years to the Civil War. The very first Memorial Day commemoration was proclaimed on May 5, 1868. An U.S. Army general ordered flowers laid on the graves of both Union and Confederate soldiers at the newly estab … Read More […]

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