Memorial Day brings to the minds of many as the unofficial start of summer with the ubiquitous picnics, opening of public swimming pools, parties, and in some cases, fireworks; in the midst of annual celebrations, the true meaning has been lost.
The Department of Veterans Affairs describes Memorial Day’s origin as Decoration Day, organized by the head of Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) on May 5, 1868 – three years after the Civil War ended. Major General John A. Logan then declared Decoration Day be observed each year on May 30, because it was believed flowers across the United States would be in full bloom. Since then, Decoration Day – eventually renamed Memorial Day as we know it – is observed on the final Monday in May, whether it be the 30th or a date prior to it on that particular week.
To ensure fallen soldiers of war would not be forgotten, Congress passed into law The National Moment of Remembrance Act (P.L. 106-579) in December 2000, and signed by the President, creating the White House Commission on the National Moment of Remembrance. At 3:00 PM each Memorial Day, citizens are encouraged to have a moment of silence in honor and memory of those who died while serving their country.
Meanwhile, my partner and I are spending this holiday in various parts of Florida. When not in Tampa, we spent time in St. Pete, Jupiter, Bradenton, Fort Myers, and Clearwater Beach with a three-hour jaunt to Boca Raton in between. It’s been a fun couple of days thus far. As I post this, the temperature in Tampa has reached 90 degrees with some cloud cover, but still perfect for the holiday.
We’re heading back to Clearwater Beach tonight for a party. In addition to a couple photos posted on this entry, I’ll have more to share on my Facebook page.
I’d like to close this post by wishing all of you a safe, happy, and blessed Memorial Day. Please wear your seat belts and don’t drink and drive. We want you to arrive home alive!