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US Memorial Day/Veterans' Day

Posted by Smokey Stover on May 31, 2005

In Reply to: US Memorial Day/Veterans' Day posted by Brian from Shawnee on May 30, 2005

: : : : : Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service.

: : : : : World War 1--112,000
: : : : : World War 2--292,000
: : : : : Korea--33,741
: : : : : Vietnam--58,178
: : : : : Iraq (5.27.05)--1,653

: : : : : If you have a chance maybe a moment of silence and a prayer for the hungry, thirsty, scared, lonely and tired youngsters who are now serving.

: : : : Amen. I bought my poppy yesterday. SS

: : : In Europe, and in the former British Commonwealth, the day is celebrated on the day that WW1 officially ended - the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. Why is it different in the US?
: : : Thanks

: : Because Memorial Day has its roots in the Civil War. (See below.) Although, when I was growing up, we called it Decoration Day. It wasn't really about the military. It was a day for families to go tend the graveyards. Actually, the goal was to have the family graveyard cleaned up and decorated before Memorial Day.

: : From

: : Three years after the Civil War ended, on May 5, 1868, the head of an organization of former Union soldiers and sailors - the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) - established Decoration Day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. Maj. Gen. John A. Logan declared it should be May 30. The first large observance was held that year at Arlington National Cemetery, across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C. The cemetery already held the remains of 20,000 Union dead and several hundred Confederate dead.

: : More details in a USA Today article at

: In the U.S. veterans' organizations (American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars) sell poppies to raise funds, on Memorial Day, which was formerly called Decoration Day and also on Veterans' Day, which was formerly called Armistice Day. Veterans' Day is observed in the U.S. on November 11.

If my post is duplicated, it is because as of this moment my original post seems to have disappeared.

IN FLANDERS FIELDS the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Dr. John McCrae wrote this during the horror of Ypres.

Incidentally, if you Google Memorial Day you will find a great confusion between Memorial Day and Veterans' Day. I vote we go back to calling the latter Armistice Day. SS

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