What is Memorial Day and why do we observe it? How does it differ from Veteran’s Day?
“Memorial Day”, was originally known as “Decoration Day” from 1868 until 1967. Decoration Day was named that because it was when the graves of our deceased heroes were decorated with flowers. Congress changed the name in 1967 to Memorial Day. In 1971, Memorial Day became a national holiday by an act of Congress; it is now celebrated annually on the last Monday in May.
Some may feel that it is a time for family barbecues, picnics, and family get togethers. Some may feel it’s a paid day off from work. For some it’s a vivid reminder of a loved one that did not survive their military service. A grandfather, grandmother, uncle, father, mother, brother, sister, friend, or other relative. Memorial Day is a National Day of Remembrance for honoring all who served in the military and died, whether in combat, line of duty, illness, or wounds seen or unseen.
May 30 was originally picked as Decoration Day because it did not coincide with an anniversary of any battle, or war. It was also picked because it was the start of flowers blooming, allowing their use in decorating the graves of fallen soldiers.
Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell will be holding a Memorial Day ceremony open to the public at 11 a.m. Monday, May 30. Florida National Cemetery averages about 7000 burials each year and is expected to reach capacity near 2030.
Veterans Memorial Park in The Villages will host a Memorial Day ceremony at 10 a.m. at the park in Spanish Springs. Congressman Daniel Webster is slated to speak.
Memorial Day is sometimes confused with Veterans Day or Armed Forces Day. Veterans Day recognizes ALL who served in the military. Armed Forces Day celebrates all the military branches and those currently serving in them.