According to Professor David Blight of the Yale University History Department, the first memorial day was observed by formerly enslaved black people at the Washington Race Course (today the location of Hampton Park) in Charleston, South Carolina. The race course had been used as a temporary Confederate prison camp for captured Union soldiers in 1865, as well as a mass grave for Union soldiers who died there. Immediately after the cessation of hostilities, formerly enslaved people exhumed the bodies from the mass grave and reinterred them properly with individual graves. They built a fence around the graveyard with an entry arch and declared it a Union graveyard. The work was completed in only ten days. On May 1, 1865, the Charleston newspaper reported that a crowd of up to ten thousand, mainly black residents, including 2800 children, proceeded to the location for included sermons, singing, and a picnic on the grounds, thereby creating the first Decoration Day.
Later Decoration Day evolved into Memorial day around 1882, but was not popular until after WW2. It wasn’t until 1968 when congress turned it into an official national holiday. Memorial Day is a day for those who severed, but is more specifically to honor those who died protecting our freedom during their time of service.
I personally want to Memorialize on of my great great great ….uncles Martin Loyer who served in the Civil War. Also My moms dad Joseph Lyons who served in WW2. We do not know much about what he did out side of being in the infantry. And also my grandfather on my dads side, Charles Barrand, who served in tanks under the great General Patton. He was there in the beginning of WW2 when Patton invaded North Africa. grandfather Barrand went on with him in his tank up through Africa, Italy and then on into Eastern France with Patton. There while fighting he blew out both knees in his tank and returned home a wounded vet and spent months in an Army hospital.
With out these men who served we would not have the luxury we do today. If you think we have the internet because we are smart – that may be the case but with out the freedom and protection that these men and women provided we would not of been able to focus on other things out side of War.
Sites to remember those who have fallen:
A teen with his own money set up PreserveandHonor.com to protect those buried at the Arlington National Cemetery. After it became known that the cemetery had mixed up and lost many records with miss management and ignorance and two leading officers lost jobs there due to this terrible issue. So Richard P. Gilleland, III started his website that has categorized many of the graves and is searchable. This not only is great to remember those who have fallen but also helps with genealogy which is another way to remember those who have past on.