Sunday, May 24, 2009

memorial day - VIDEO

General Order 11 (Sec. 1) - Grand Army of the Republic
"The 30th day of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land. In this observance no form or ceremony is prescribed, but Posts and comrades will, in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit."

Formerly known as "Decoration Day", the day was originally set aside to honor fallen Union soldiers of the American Civil War. Shortly after the end of that war, freed slaves disinterred the remains of Union soldiers from a mass grave at the site of a Confederate prison camp in Charleston, South Carolina . They properly re-buried the soldiers in individual graves, built a fence around them and declared the site an official Union Graveyard. They returned to the site on May 30, 1868 together with surviving Union soldiers to decorate the graves with flowers and celebrate with patriotic singing and a picnic. After WWI, Decoration Day was expanded to honor the fallen of all American wars. Though the alternative name,"Memorial Day" was first floated in the late 1800s it didn't become common until after WWII and later, in 1967, it was made official by Federal Law.

Although there is no nationally prescribed ceremony to observe Memorial Day, as it states in the General Order above, ". . .Posts and comrades will, in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit.", towns and cities across the country have developed their own ways of paying respect. Here again is a bit of Key West's Memorial Day observance at the U.S.S Maine site in our historic cemetery.

video

2 comments:

KWBound said...

That essay and video clip is undoubtedly one of the best Memorial Day tributes I have seen in a long time. Thanks for sharing it.

Juanito Guerrillero said...

very interesting
thanks

and remember to visit the newest key west blog
theindianbanana.blogspot.com