Since Memorial Day is now best known as the start of summer, and celebrated by many Americans short on history, and long on three day holiday weekends, I thought it appropriate to provide a link to Ernest Everett Blevins’ article in the Knoxville news today with the historic skinny.
Mr. Blevins is a member of the Sons of the American Revolution, Sons of Confederate Veterans, and past commander of Kennesaw Mountain #3 Sons of Union Veterans in Marietta, Georgia. He is past Sr. Vice Commander and current Graves Registration Officer for the newly organized of the Department of Georgia and South Carolina.
Memorial Day is best known as the “unofficial start of summer” and as such has lost the true meaning and history of this holiday.
Many communities started a memorial day to honor the war dead of the War Between the States. Some even began as the war was closing. Some cite the first memorial days conducted in Kingston, Georgia in 1865 for both Confederate and Union while still occupied by remnants of Sherman’s army and is the longest continuous observation. Some cite liberated ex-slaves in Charleston in 1865 originating the holiday. However, the official birthplace of Memorial Day is Waterloo, New York. The village was credited with being the birthplace because it observed the day on May 5, 1866.
This year May 5th marked the 141th Anniversary of General Order No. 11 creating Decoration Day from Maj. Gen. John A. Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR), the premier organization of Union veterans. General Logan, who served in the 31st Illinois, is said to have been impressed by the way the South honored their dead with a special day. He decided the Union dead needed a similar day. He established Decoration Day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers declared that Decoration Day should be observed on May 30. It is believed that date was chosen because flowers would be in bloom all over the country and is because it was not the anniversary of a major battle
Vietnam era Navy wife, indy/conservative, and an official California escapee now residing as a red speck in the sea of Oregon blue.