Why we celebrate Memorial Day/Porque celebramos Memorial Day


Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation’s service. There are many stories as to its actual beginnings, with over two dozen cities and towns laying claim to being the birthplace of Memorial Day. There is also evidence that organized women’s groups in the South were decorating graves before the end of the Civil War: a hymn published in 1867, “Kneel Where Our Loves are Sleeping” by Nella L. Sweet carried the dedication “To The Ladies of the South who are Decorating the Graves of the Confederate Dead” (Source: Duke University’s Historic American Sheet Music, 1850-1920).

While Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966, it’s difficult to prove conclusively the origins of the day. It is more likely that it had many separate beginnings; each of those towns and every planned or spontaneous gathering of people to honor the war dead in the 1860’s tapped into the general human need to honor our dead, each contributed honorably to the growing movement that culminated in Gen Logan giving his official proclamation in 1868. It is not important who was the very first, what is important is that Memorial Day was established. Memorial Day is not about division. It is about reconciliation; it is about coming together to honor those who gave their all.

General John A. Logan
Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, [LC-B8172- 6403 DLC (b&w film neg.)]

Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war). It is now celebrated in almost every State on the last Monday in May (passed by Congress with the National Holiday Act of 1971 (P.L. 90 – 363) to ensure a three day weekend for Federal holidays), though several southern states have an additional separate day for honoring the Confederate war dead: January 19 in Texas, April 26 in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi; May 10 in South Carolina; and June 3 (Jefferson Davis’ birthday) in Louisiana and Tennessee.

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El día conmemorativo, originalmente llamado Decoration Day, es un día del remembrance para los que han muerto en el servicio de nuestra nación. Hay muchas historias en cuanto a sus con reales principios, concluído dos ciudades docena y las ciudades que ponen demanda a ser el lugar de nacimiento del día conmemorativo. Hay también evidencia que los grupos de las mujeres ordenadas en el sur adornaban sepulcros antes del final de la guerra civil: un himno publicado en 1867, ” genuflexión donde nuestros amantes están durmiendo ” por Nella L. Sweet llevó el esmero ” a las señoras del sur que están adornando los sepulcros de los muertos confederados ” (fuente: Música, 1850-1920 Historic American Sheet De Duque University’s). Mientras que Waterloo N.Y. oficialmente fue declarada el lugar de nacimiento del día conmemorativo por presidente Lydon Johnson en mayo de 1966, es difícil probar concluyente los orígenes del día. Es más probable que tenga muchos principios del seperate.

El día conmemorativo fue proclamado oficialmente el 5 de mayo de 1868 por general Juan Logan, comandante nacional del ejército magnífico de la república, en su orden general No. 11, y primero observado el 30 de mayo de 1868, cuando las flores fueron colocadas en los sepulcros de los soldados de la unión y del confederato en el cementerio del nacional de Arlington. El sur rechazó reconocer el día, honrando a sus muertos el días del seperate hasta después de la guerra mundial I (cuando el día de fiesta cambiante de honrar apenas a los que murieron el luchar en la guerra civil a honrar a los americanos que murieron el luchar en cualquier guerra). Ahora se celebra en casi cada estado el lunes pasado en mayo (pasado por Congress en 1971, P.L. 90 – 363, para asegurar un fin de semana de tres días por días de fiesta federales), aunque varios estados meridionales tienen un día adicional, separado para honrar a los muertos confederados de la guerra: De enero el 19 en Tejas, de abril el 26 en Alabama, la Florida, Georgia, y Mississippi; De mayo el 10 en Carolina del sur; y de junio el 3 (cumpleaños de Jefferson Davis) en Luisiana y Tennessee.

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