Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day

Formerly called "Decoration Day," Memorial Day is a day for Americans to remember the men and women who gave their lives in service of the United States.  There are a number of theories as to the origin of the holiday, but many believe Decoration Day began when survivors decorated the graves of soldiers killed during the Civil War.  The first official observance of the day was May 30, 1868, and for 100 years May 30 was the official date of the holiday.  In 1967, Congress authorized moving the holiday to the last Monday in May.  For years, groups sold paper poppies to give profits to servicemen in need.  On the Thursday before Memorial Day, the soldiers of the 3rd Infantry place flags on more than 260,000 graves in Arlington National Cemetery.  It is tradition to decorate the graves of ex-military with flags, and most cemeteries hold a service.  In 2000, Congress approved a National Moment of Remembrance, and ask that all Americans observe a moment of silence at 3:00 pm local time on Memorial Day in memory of the veterans.  

Over 1,000,000 men and women have lost their lives in service to this country.  The conflict and the number of deaths:

Civil War . . . 498,332
World War I . . . 116,516
World War II . . . 405,399
Korean Conflict . . . 54, 246
Viet Nam . . . 58, 209
Gulf War . . . 1972
Afghanistan . . . 506* 
Iraq . . . 4079*

* As of May 24, 2008

Regarding the "flag" in today's photo . . . I found this piece of art in an office building on West End Blvd. in Nashville.  It's all wood, three-dimensional, and quite large.


Abraham Lincoln said...

Nice post. Interesting picture too.

brian said...

i love your photo and post! the photo looks 3d, or you can tell it is in your photo =)

Olivier said...

photo très originale, thème du post très important.
very original photo. theme of post very important.

Jim said...

That flag looks really neat.

quinttarantino said...

Chris, muito interessante este post!

George Townboy said...

Awesome post and great photo!! I didn't know half of this!!

My comp crashed and I was down for about a week - thanks for visiting and your concern!! I appreciate it.

Rambling Round said...

Quite a creative flag, and thanks for all the Memorial Day info!

Ming the Merciless said...

I love the artistic interpretation of the flag. Very nice.

Halcyon said...

The flag is really neat.

Lessie said...

I LOVE this wooden flag. Very cool. And Ilove your poppy photo above. Perfect Memorial Day posts.