First recognized in the South in 1866, Memorial Day was a simple and somber occasion with an intended purpose: to honor the dead and take care of a little housekeeping at the local cemetery.
Two years later and post-civil war, Union veterans in the North began celebrating their own holiday, Decoration Day. It was another simple occasion to decorate graves of the war dead with flowers.
To prevent confusion -and perhaps because they were still a little bitter- the South clarified that they had no intentions of sharing their holiday by renaming it Confederate Memorial Day. It took almost another 15 years until the two holidays shared the common “Memorial Day” title and a whopping 85 years more before it was made official.
This year marks a full 150 years since the first Memorial Day was recognized. And while it has certainly grown from a simple holiday, amidst the parades and celebrations, graves of our war dead still deserve to be honored and decorated.
As you celebrate this Memorial Day…remember.
and the Bren-Mar Team