Remembering Our Nation’s Heroes on Memorial Day
As Memorial Day approaches, many Alabamians are gearing up for a long vacation weekend, with the intention of traveling, looking to the waterways, shopping, or gathering with family and friends. for a barbecue.
What to remember in the midst of the fun is the real meaning of the party: the day of the year when Americans honor the men and women who have died serving in the US military.
For more than a century, according to a history of the holiday on History.com, Memorial Day was known as Decoration Day, an annual celebration of cleaning and decorating the graves of war soldiers with flowers. In May 1868, General John Logan, the Commander-in-Chief of the Union Veterans Group, issued an executive order that May 30 be made a national day of remembrance. According to legend, Logan chose this date because it was a rare day that did not fall on the anniversary of a war battle. Some historians believe the date was chosen to ensure flowers across the country would be in full bloom.
While many cities want to claim ownership of the holiday, it wasn’t until 1966 that the federal government declared Waterloo, New York, the official birthplace of Memorial Day.
Memorial Day became an official federal holiday in 1971. In 2000, President Bill Clinton signed a law requiring all Americans to observe a moment of remembrance at exactly 3 p.m. local time each Memorial Day.
By custom, flags are to be hoisted on Memorial Day at half mast until noon, and then hoisted on the mast until sunset.
A number of Memorial Day events take place across Alabama and are open to the public.
Here are some ways to honor those who have fallen:
Alabama Veterans Memorial Park
A private virtual ceremony is scheduled during Memorial Day week at the park. The date of the ceremony will be announced on the website. If you want to visit the Alabama Fallen Veterans Memorial, it’s open seven days a week, from dawn to dusk. For updates on the upcoming Memorial Day ceremony, call 205-305-6749. The park is located at 100 Overton Access Road in Birmingham.
Alabama State Veterans Memorial Cemetery
Spanish Fort will honor its deceased veterans on Memorial Day at the Alabama State Veterans Memorial Cemetery. WWII Veteran, Third Army, 761st Tank Battalion, Robert Curtis Andry will deliver the keynote speech followed by a wreath laying ceremony. The event is free, but places are limited to 200 people. The full schedule is here. To learn more, visit the website.
Administration of the national cemetery
The National Cemetery Administration (NCA) is committed to observing Memorial Day in a way that honors those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for this nation, while protecting the health and safety of visitors and team members. . There will be 142 National Veterans Cemeteries open to visitors throughout Memorial Day weekend. Families and friends are invited to lay flowers or individual flags at the graves of veterans. Cemetery staff will hold a wreath laying ceremony to officially commemorate Remembrance Day. While the NCA cannot invite the public to attend for health and safety reasons, the NCA has developed the Veterans Legacy Memorial (VLM) for users to upload images and documents and share timelines, achievements and biographical information of military service. VLM users will also be able to “Follow a Veteran” to receive email alerts when new content is added to a Veteran’s page. For virtual tours, go to va.gov/remember. Items contributed to profiles are reviewed for relevance before being displayed. Future updates will be provided as needed in response to changing conditions and public health directives. NCA will share photos from the event on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and social media.