Memorial Day, or Decoration Day as it was first called, was officially proclaimed on May 5, 1868, by Major General John Alexander Logan, commander in chief of the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR).
"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 church yard in the land… We should guard their graves with sacred vigilance, all that the consecrated wealth and toils of the nation can add to their adornment and security, is but a fitting tribute to the memory of her slain defenders... If other eyes grow dull, and other hands black, and other hearts cold, in the solemn trust, ours shall keep it well as long as the light, and warmth, of life remain to us. Let us, then, at the time appointed gather around their sacred remains, and garland the passionless mounds above them with the choicest flowers of Springtime: let us raise above them the dear old flag they saved from dishonor." (To read the entire article go to...http://www.macungie.org/memorial_history.html
Most people have BBQs or picnics during this three-day weekend. To many it just symbolizes the start of summer.
Memorial Day is much more than a three-day weekend that marks the beginning of summer. Memorial Day has a history stretching back all the way to the Civil War, is an important reminder of those who died in the service of our country. It's a tribute to those lost men and women who fought to protect the United States of America. They fought so that we may continue to enjoy the freedom our forefathers fought so hard to establish.