Which State Started Memorial Day? An Archives Article

 

An oil depiction of one of the earliest Memorial Day commemorations with a custom still intact, decorating the grave of soldiers lost in war.

An oil depiction of one of the earliest Memorial Day commemorations with a custom still intact, decorating the grave of soldiers lost in war.

Granted, for most Americans the three-day Mem0rial Day Weekend marks the beginning of yet another halcyon season of summertime, the chance to clean off and fire up the grill for the first time this year or hit the beach if only to sit and anticipate the ocean being warm enough to swim in.

A late 19th century depiction of what is now the weekend kickstarting summer.

A late 19th century depiction of what is now the weekend kickstarting summer.

Of course, the very meaning of what is now thought of as a “holiday” began over a century ago as a day of commemoration of those killed in the Civil War.

And like everything related to the Civil War, there is lingering contention between not just Northern and Southern states about who should be credited with getting Memorial Day started but also within those regions.

In six different states, a Union Army general, freed African-American slaves, and civic-minded Confederate women have been among those credited with the idea of Memorial Day. Here’s the full story from the carlanthonyonline.com archives.

Also from the archives is a photo essay of a traditional American Memorial Day typical of those across the nation, in this case within a “small town” of a big city, Whitestone, a suburb of New York.

Modern Memorial Day: a woman in Arlington National Cemetery mourning her fiance, killed in the Iraqi War 2007. (John Moore/Getty)

Modern Memorial Day: a woman in Arlington National Cemetery mourning her fiance, killed in the Iraqi War 2007. (John Moore/Getty)



Categories: Holidays, Memorial Day

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3 replies

  1. Carl, thank you for this Memorial Day tribute. The photo of the wife of James Regan mourning him moved me so much. I lost my father in war. I visit his grave every Memorial Day. Thank you for educating and informing us about history.

  2. THANK YOU MR. ANTHONY FOR ALL YOUR EFFORTS IN BEHALF OF OUR VETRANS AND HERITAGE . I’LL SAY A PRAYER AND REFLECT THIS MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND . I LOST A CLOSE FRIEND IN VIETNAM ON 2/14/69′ AND WILL NEVER FORGET HIM . RIP JOHNNY JOYCE .

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