In May 1868, General John A. Logan, the commander-in-chief of the Union veterans’ group known as the Grand Army of the Republic, issued a decree that May 30 should become a nationwide day of commemoration for the more than 620,000 soldiers killed in the recently ended Civil War.
On Decoration Day, as Logan dubbed it, Americans should lay flowers and decorate the graves of the war dead “whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land.” According to legend, Logan chose May 30 because it was a rare day that didn’t fall on the anniversary of a Civil War battle, though some historians believe the date was selected to ensure that flowers across the country would be in full bloom.
Federal Holiday Status
Although the term Memorial Day was used beginning in the 1880s, the holiday was officially known as Decoration Day for more than a century, when it was changed by federal law. Four years later, the Uniform Monday Holiday Act of 1968 finally went into effect, moving Memorial Day from its traditional observance on May 30 (regardless of the day of the week), to a set day—the last Monday in May.
What to do during Memorial Day Weekend
Sunday, May 27, 2018
PBS Television, 7:00 -8:30PM. PBS’s National Memorial Day Concert salutes the sacrifice made by the men and women in uniform as well as their families. The free annual concert is held on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. Actors Gary Sinise and Joe Mantegna will host the proceedings, which will feature numerous other celebrity performers.
The Woodlands, 4:00 – 9:00PM. The festival pays tribute to all military service men and women who lost their lives while serving the United States, and also honors all veterans who serve as a symbol for those who paid the ultimate sacrifice of life to protect our freedom. Memorial Day Weekend in The Woodlands features live music, children’s activities, strolling entertainers and more at Town Green Park. The evening concludes with a dazzling fireworks display choreographed to a patriotic soundtrack.
Monday May 28, 2018
Houston National Cemetery Ceremony - 9:30 am (at Hemicycle) National Cemetery Administration will host Memorial Day ceremonies at VA national cemeteries across the country with the help of local communities. Each cemetery and community will add their own special touch of patriotism and “thanks” during the events.
Sugar Land Memorial Day Ceremony - 10 am - 1 pm The City of Sugar Land will honor the brave men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces for their selfless service by hosting its 9th Annual Memorial Day Ceremony. This event is free and open to the public. The program includes: patriotic music, educational and commemorative activities, on-site military exhibits, flag ceremony.
We hope that you will have a few minutes during this holiday weekend to thank those who served and remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Memorial Day is special to us and we fly and array of America flags at our shop in honor of the military of our country.
Kathryn and Sybren
Friendly & Expert Service Since ‘46
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Sources: History.com, PBS