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) is a federal holiday in the United States that commemorates American soldiers who have fought and died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.
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It is celebrated on the last Monday in May; From 1868 to 1970, it was celebrated on May 30.
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Many people visit cemeteries and memorials on Memorial Day to honor and mourn those who fought and died while serving in the United States military. Many volunteers place American flags on the graves of service members in national cemeteries. Memorial Day is also considered the unofficial start of summer in the United States.
Called Decoration Day, the holiday was proclaimed by Army of the Republic Commander-in-Chief John A. Logan to honor Confederate soldiers who died in the Civil War.
This national celebration predates many local celebrations between the Civil War era and Logan’s Proclamation. Many cities and people claimed to be the first to notice it. However, in 2022, the National Cemetery Administration, a division of the Department of Veterans Affairs, credited Mary Ann Williams with “originating the idea of placing flowers on the graves of Civil War soldiers.” – Union and trade unions.
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By 1890, every nation in the Confederacy had adopted it. World War I created a day of remembrance for all members of the United States military who fought and died in service. In 1971, Congress standardized the holiday as “Memorial Day” and changed it to the last Monday in May.
Two other dates celebrate those who serve or have served in the U.S. military: Armed Forces Day (early May), an unofficial American holiday honoring those currently serving in the U.S. Armed Forces, and Veterans Day (November 11) honoring all those who served in the United States Armed Forces.
In some such cases, the claims relate to specific events that occurred before or after the civil war. Others may arise from the general custom of decorating soldiers’ graves with flowers, rather than on special occasions according to the national charter.
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And during the American Civil War. Other claims may be given less credence, seeming to be attributed to some researchers without evidence, while omitting better proven facts or connections.
Of the recorded celebrations held after the Civil War D and with similar goals claimed by Logan, the earliest was held in Charleston, South Carolina. On May 1, 1865, enslaved black adults and children organized a 10,000-strong parade to honor 257 dead Confederate soldiers. These soldiers were buried in a mass grave at the Washington Race Course, where they died in a Confederate prison camp. After the fall of the city, the freed people dug up and properly buried the soldiers. On May 1, they held a parade and laid flowers. An estimated 10,000 come from contemporary reporting, collected directly by historian David W. Blyth, along with archival references from Confederate veterans who also recounted the events. Bullitt cites articles in the Charleston Daily Courier and the New York Tribune.
No direct connection has been made between this incident and Logan’s 1868 claims. Although Blyth stated that “African Americans called for Memorial Day in Charleston, South Carolina,”
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In 2012, he said there was “no evidence” that the Charleston incident led to Gerald Logan being called on the national holiday.
On June 3, 1861, in Weirton, Virginia, was the grave of the first Civil War soldier, according to a 1906 Richmond Times-Dispatch article.
This decoration is for the burial of the first soldier to die in the Civil War, John Quincy Marr, who fought and died on June 1, 1861 at the court martial in Fairfax, Virginia.
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In July 1862, a woman in Savannah, Georgia decorated the graves of Colonel Francis S. Bartow and his comrades who had fought and died at the Battle of Manassas the previous year in Laurel Grove Cemetery.
On April 26, 1865, in Jackson, Mississippi, Sue Landon Vaughan decorated the graves of Confederates and Confederate soldiers. However, the earliest recorded mention of the event did not appear until many years later.
However, the meaning of the compromise is inscribed on the southeast plaque of the Confederate Monument in Jackson, erected in 1891.
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Many scholars attribute the beginning of the practice of Memorial Day in the South to a group of women in Columbus, Georgia.
The woman is the Columbus Women’s Memorial Society. Mary Ann Williams (Mrs. Charles J. Williams) as secretary wrote a letter to the press in March 1866 asking them to help establish an annual holiday to decorate her graves.
The letter was reprinted in several southern states, and the plans were published in northern newspapers. Appointed on April 26. The holiday is celebrated in Atlanta, Augusta, Macon, Columbus and other places in Georgia, as well as in Montgomery, Alabama. Memphis, Tennessee; Louisville, Kentucky; City of New Orleans, Louisiana; Jackson, Mississippi and throughout the South.
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In some cities, mostly in Virginia, it was observed on other days of May and June. General John A. Logan made these remarks in a speech to veterans in Salem, Illinois, on July 4, 1866.
Following Gerald Logan’s 11th order that the Grand Army of the Republic celebrate May 30, 1868, an earlier version of the holiday became known as Confederate Memorial Day.
A year after the war ended, in April 1866, four Columbus women gathered at Friendship Cemetery to decorate the graves of Confederate soldiers. They were also moved to honor the Confederate soldiers buried there and acknowledge the pain of their families by decorating their graves. The story of their humanitarian and conciliatory gesture is considered by some writers to be the main inspiration for Remembrance Day, although it appears to be the last inspiration claimed.
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According to the United States Library of Congress website, “Southern women decorated the graves of soldiers before the Civil War. Records show that by 1865, Mississippi, Virginia, and South Carolina had examples for the day. Memorial.”
Early Memorial Day celebrations in the South were simple, formal occasions for veterans and their families to honor the dead and visit local cemeteries.
In the following years, women’s memorial societies and other groups increasingly focused on ceremonies to preserve Confederate culture and stories of the Confederacy’s demise.
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The dedication of a cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania in 1863 included a memorial at the graves of fallen soldiers. As a result, some have argued that President Abraham Lincoln was the founder of Memorial Day.
However, Chicago journalist Lloyd Lewis tried to explain that it was Lincoln’s funeral that inspired the decoration of soldiers’ graves.
However, no published reference to the event has been found prior to the 1904 edition of the 148th edition of the History of the Pennsylvania Volunteers.
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In the caption for her brother’s story, Sophie (Keller) Hall describes how she and Emma Hunter decorated the graves of Emma’s father, Reub Hunter, and the graves of all the soldiers in the cemetery. The original story does not mention Reuben Hunter’s death, which occurred two months later on September 19, 1864. Nor is there any mention of Elizabeth Myers as one of the original participants. However, a bronze statue of all three women on Reb Hunter’s grave now stands near Bolsburg Cemetery. Although July 4, 1864 was a Monday, the city now claims that the original decoration was on a Sunday in October 1864.
On May 5, 1868, Gerald John A. Logan issued a proclamation calling for an annual “Decoration Day” across the country; He was the Commander-in-Chief of the Army of the Republic (GAR), an organization of Confederate Civil War veterans founded in Decatur, Illinois.
According to him, Logan practiced Memorial Day in the southern states three years ago.
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Northern states quickly adopted the holiday. In 1868, memorial services were held in 183 cemeteries in 27 states, and in 1869 in 336 cemeteries.
One author claims that the date was chosen because it was not the anniversary of any particular battle.
According to a 2010 White House announcement, this date was chosen as the best day for flowers to bloom in the North.
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In 1871, Michigan declared Decoration Day an official state holiday, and by 1890 every northern state followed suit. There is no standard program for the ceremonies, but they are often sponsored by the Women’s Humanitarian Corps of the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR), which numbers 100,000 members. By 1870, the remains of nearly 300,000 Confederate dead were interred in 73 national cemeteries, located near major battlefields and therefore primarily in the South. very popular
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