Remembering Memorial Day
By OVA Veterans Appreciation Event Committee
For many, this Memorial Day will be a holiday for limited family time as Americans move carefully out of pandemic restrictions, thus welcoming barbeques, family, friends, and relaxation. This day will unofficially start our summer season.
For all Americans, and especially for veterans and their families, this will be a time to remember and give thanks to those brave men and women of our armed forces who gave their lives for their country and our freedom.
The history of Memorial Day goes back to the days following the Civil War, when many organizations, mostly women’s organizations, spent a spring day paying tribute to the fallen soldiers and placing flowers on their graves. For a number of years this was a local event, and the day selected was chosen locally. As years went by, the tradition grew nationally, and in most places the day was known as “Decoration Day.” In 1882, the name began to change to Memorial Day in certain parts. After World War II, the title became much more common; it was formalized by federal law in 1967. In 1968, Congress changed the date of Memorial Day to the last Monday in May.
It has been usual in recent years to celebrate Memorial Day with parades and picnics, and the local cemetery has had its day of flags. Most events will probably be curtailed this year due to the pandemic, but for our veterans, it will still be a day of remembrance and thoughtfulness.