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May 25th, 2013 at 16:56 pm

Memorial Day Poppy History

Memorial Day Quote
Memorial Day History
(complied from information found at: http://www.va.gov/

The wearing of poppies in honor of America’s war dead is traditionally done on Memorial Day, The practice of wearing of poppies takes its origin from the poem In Flanders Fields, written in 1915 by John McCrae. The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW) or The American Legion, are among the many veterans organizations distributing poppies annually on Memorial Day.

Memorial day has it beginnings three years after the Civil War ended, on May 5, 1868, the head of an organization of Union veterans — 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 that Decoration Day should be observed on May 30. It is believed that date was chosen because flowers would be in bloom all over the country.

The first large observance was held that year at Arlington National Cemetery, across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C.

The ceremonies centered around the mourning-draped veranda of the Arlington mansion, once the home of Gen. Robert E. Lee. Various Washington officials, including Gen. and Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant, presided over the ceremonies. After speeches, children from the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Orphan Home and members of the GAR made their way through the cemetery, strewing flowers on both Union and Confederate graves, reciting prayers and singing hymns.

While Veterans days is intended to honor the living who have served,

Memorial Day is meant to honor the those who made the ultimate sacrifice, either in service or as a result of injuries sustained in battle.

I choose to honor both and promise never to forget what they gave to make our way of life possible.

I hope you will join me in proudly wearing a poppy this and every memorial day –

 

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