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Saturday, May 30, 2020

Facts re Decoration Day


The cartoon by John T. McCutcheon which is posted atop this Blogger entry, is featured within prior entries here on Blogger. It was initially published in the year of 1900, with a caption accompanying it stating: "You bet I'm goin' to be a soldier, too, like my Uncle David, when I grow up."

As most of you probably know, the 2020 Memorial Day holiday took place (in the United States) this past Monday, May 25th, as it is currently celebrated on the last Monday in May. Prior to it being celebrated on the last Monday in May, the traditional date for Memorial Day was May 30th.

According to Wiki"The law took effect at the federal level in 1971. After some initial confusion and unwillingness to comply, all 50 states adopted Congress' change of date within a few years.

"Memorial Day endures as a holiday which most businesses observe because it marks the unofficial beginning of summer. The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (SUVCW) advocate returning to the original date, although the significance of the date is tenuous. The VFW stated in a 2002 Memorial Day Address:

"Changing the date merely to create three-day weekends has undermined the very meaning of the day. No doubt, this has contributed a lot to the general public's nonchalant observance of Memorial Day.

"Starting in 1987 Hawaii's Senator Daniel Inouye, a World War II veteran, introduced a measure to return Memorial Day to its traditional date. Inouye continued introducing the resolution until his death in 2012."

And prior to the holiday being called Memorial Day, it was called Decoration Day, a time to decorate the graves of those killed in a war. The practice of decorating soldiers' graves with flowers is an ancient custom. Soldiers' graves were decorated in the U.S. before and during the American Civil War. This fact of decorating a grave belonging to a man or woman killed in war, is most likely one of the reasonings behind McCutcheon's cartoon (a  copy of it is featured atop this entry).

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