Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day: Remember

Yes, today is the unofficial first day of summer, and a day off for most Americans. Fire up the barbecue. Pools and beaches traditionally open today in the Midwest.

But we have the day off for a reason... and I hope you will remember that reason, the more than one million Americans who have given up their lives for their country, at some point in your revels today.

Memorial Day began as Decoration Day in the aftermath of America's Civil War. Promoted by the Union Army veterans organization, the Grand Army of the Republic, the original date of Memorial Day (May 30) was chosen because (somehow) there'd been no major battle on that day. (Memorial Day became a Monday holiday in 1968.)

The American flag is run all the way up to the peak this morning, then immediately lowered to half-staff, as in the picture above, until noon. The flag is returned to full-staff thereafter.

A very informative (and profusely illustrated) Memorial Day post was put up last year by someone posting as "Jiggs" on the blog "Pictures in Time." (The image used here was taken from that linked post.)

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