By the time Maj. Gen. John A. Logan declared May 30 Decoration Day many people were already honoring fallen soldiers by placing flowers at their graves. The act of honoring the soldiers with flowers further supports the idea that Maj. Gen. Logan set the day as May 30 because flowers were in full bloom throughout the country. The same year he established Decorations Day, a large ceremony was held at Arlington National Cemetery.
In 1966, President Lyndon Johnson declared Waterloo, NY as the home of Memorial Day. Waterloo had a history of honoring fallen soldiers dating back to May 1866. Even during the first ceremony small flags were placed at the graves of soldiers, like we do today.
In 1971, Congress declared Memorial Day a national holiday and moved the celebration to the last Monday in May. Although many people still called the holiday Decoration Day during this time, Memorial Day was the official name given to the day we remember our heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice.
Recently, in 2000, Congress and President Bill Clinton signed “The National Moment of Remembrance Act,” to ensure we all remember the sacrifice made by our heroes. The law and the White House Commission on the National Moment of Remembrance charge American citizens to give back to the country as a way of celebrating our freedom. Additionally, on Memorial Day, regardless of where you are at, you are encouraged to pause and honor our soldiers for a minute beginning at 3 p.m. local time.
Eastland Escrows in Covina, California honors our fallen soldiers by sharing with you the history of Memorial Day. Remember to be safe and thank a local hero for their service.