Did you know...?
Henry C. Welles, a druggest in Waterloo, NY, suggested in
1865 that honor should be shown to the patriotic dead of the Civil War
by decorating their graves. His townspeople adopted the idea in 1866.
On May 5, 1866, a parade was held in Waterloo and wreaths,
crosses, and bouquets were made and placed on each veteran's grave.
The first official recognition of "Decoration Day" was issued
by General John A. Logan on May 5, 1868. It was then observed on May 30,
1868 when flowers were placed on graves of Union and Confederate soldiers
at Arlington National Cemetery.
The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their
dead on separate days until after WWI when the holiday changed from honoring
just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who
died fighting in any war.
Since the late 1950's, on the Thursday before Memorial Day
the 1,200 soldiers of the 3rd U.S. Infantry place small American flags
at each of the more than 260,000 gravestones at Arlington National Cemetery.
Memorial Day was observed on May 30 until 1968 when Congress
moved the holiday to the last Monday in May to ensure a three day weekend.
Moina Michael (after reading "In Flanders Fields")
conceived of an idea to wear red poppies on Memorial Day to honor those
who died serving our nation. This tradition then spread to other countries.
Ms. Michael was honored for the National Poppy movement by having a red
3 cent postage stamp made with her likeness on it by the U.S. Postage Service.
Photo Found: http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/pubpaps/1998portv1.html