Memorial Day: Honoring those who've died while serving the military

Posted by on May 31, 2010 at 7:32 am.

Memorial-Day.05.31.10.jpgIn the USA, May 31st is the day we observe Memorial Day. Memorial Day is a Federal holiday.

Memorial day is a lot more than getting a day off of work and having celebrations with family and friends. Memorial day was created to recognize the those who died during the Civil War.

I love history. Over the years, I’ve read a lot about this particular holiday. Did you know In 1865, freed slaves took part in a huge celebration in Charleston, South Carolina? The celebration was held at the Washington Race Course now known as Hampton Park.

What’s interesting is that this location had served as a temporary Confederate prison camp for captured Union soldiers. Mass graves on the site contained Union soldiers. I found it fascinating that in 1865 freed slaves removed bodies from the mass graves and placed them into individual graves. They also placed a fence around the graveyard, and declared it a union graveyard.

On May 1, 1865 a crowd of up to 10,000 people (mostly African American) gathered at the Washington Race course. According to some records there were a lot of different activities that were held that day; speeches, sermons, singing, and family picnics.

If you’ve been following Memorial day history (like myself) you’ll notice that a lot of states have claimed being the first in regards to Memorial Day celebration however those claims didn’t start until around 1865. The largest scale Declaration Day (Memorial Day) event was conducted in 1861, by the freed African American slaves in Charleston, South Carolina.

Did you know that

Memorial Day: Did you know?

  1. Memorial Day used to be called Declaration Day
  2. Memorial Day was originally recognized on May 30th, but has since been moved to May 31st.

Across the United States, there are numerous events held to recognize those who’ve died while in military service. For example, the National Memorial Day Concert is an amazing event, and takes place on the West Lawn of the United States Capital.

I’ve included a few Memorial Day traditions below.

A few Memorial Day Traditions

How do I celebrate Memorial Day?
For myself it’s a time to recognize those who’ve died while in service, which usually means going to a specific location that has a ceremony. This year my daughter and I will be going to Fort McHenry, it will be a great chance for her to see some reenactments, check out some of the history I’ve told her about and interact with others too.

Question: Do you have any plans for Memorial Day?

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