Memorial Day Weekend

Cindy Bruchman


I posted this a few years ago but thought I’d share it again with new followers.

     Did you know that Memorial Day in the United States was originally called Decoration Day and originated for Civil War soldiers? For many decades after the Civil War, northern and southern states honored their fallen soldiers separately. The service changed after World War I to Memorial Day and included all fallen soldiers who served in the U.S. military.  In 1971, Congress designated the service as a national, 3 day holiday weekend. Since then, it has expanded to signify the beginning of summer fun. On American television this weekend, you can re-watch countless war movies. While spending time with family and friends is valuable, it is crucial to remember what the holiday is truly about.

Like Mother Like Daughter Navy boot camp graduation–like mother like daughter

As a history teacher, I spend a lot of time discussing…

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21 thoughts on “Memorial Day Weekend”

  1. The service changed after World War I to Memorial Day and included all fallen soldiers who served in the U.S. military. In 1971, Congress designated the service as a national, 3 day holiday weekend. A couple of observations: 1. People in my small hometown in Colorado were still calling Memorial Day “Decoration Day” in the early 1950s. 2. While Congress may have designated Memorial Day as a national three-day holiday, it was not observed as a holiday in many Southern cities and counties as late as 1979. It was called a “Yankee” holiday. I always thought that sad since it meant that the service of local men after the Civil War was ignored.

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  2. I remember this post from 2015, and commented at the time. I hear that Memorial Day has become another ‘burgers and beer’ weekend in many parts of your country. For my part, I believe it should be a sombre and reflective occasion, and not a cause to just have a barbecue, and drink beer. But of course, I am not American..
    We don’t have this here, and remember the men and women of the military on Armistice Day, November the 11th, with serious and respectful parades and services.
    Your own story, and this fitting tribute, is just how it should be done.
    Best wishes, Pete. x

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    1. I remember your commenting, too, and am glad you’ve been a part of my life for several years now! A true-blue friend. I am saddened as the years roll on that this weekend feels like it’s losing its purpose to pay homage. There is a current of “I hate America, I should feel ashamed to be American, and that if you fly the flag, you are boxed into the supposition that you must love Trump, therefore, you are an idiot.” I never talk about politics for a reason, but it is a shame that one should feel guilty about loving one’s country. She’s flawed and complicated, but I am so happy for my life and see the flag as a symbol of my national identity. As much as I love the UK and think of it as a second home, I will always be a Yank….
      Thank you, as always, dear Pete, for commenting.

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      1. Our day is ANZAC Day but we do have minutes silence on Remembrance Day or Armistice Day for others. Yes people get drunk on ANZAC day and watch war films. A lot of them soldiers but it seems there is a lot of reverence for the fallen on ANZAC Day. Although there is growing recognition to not just wrap ourselves in the flag on the day and talk about some great uncle but to actually see what could be done to help thousands of current day veterans who are killing themselves and sometimes not getting the help they need from DVA. In Australia the public holiday where the discourse seems to be one of national shame instead of national pride is Australia Day. I can see some of why that is but I think for a lot of us we just want to have a nice day or celebration or reflection. We have a lot to be grateful, not least of all for our veterans who give so much or gave it all.

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          1. There’s some great organisations here including Mates4Mates. A friend of mine, his wife served in the Royal Australian Navy and came to suffer PTSD. Mates4Mates were instrumental on her road to recovery and she has since competed in the Invictus Games set up by Prince Harry. I hope there’s similar organisations in America doing good work.

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    1. I sure will, GP. Ha! Another member of my family enlisted in the Air Force. My nephew will be going to crypto school and learning cyber-security. He’s very smart and completely aimless. The military will teach him a lot about himself, as you very well know.

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  3. Thanks for sharing this…I always post burger recipes on this weekend, as it’s become the unofficial start of summer – but it’s so important to acknowledge and remember what this day stands for….the people who put their lives at risk every day to protect us, and to honor those who have died protecting us….

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