My family, like many, will grill steaks and hot dogs on Memorial Day. If the weather is nice, we may go to the pool. If it’s raining, we’ll probably play an epic battle of Trivial Pursuit. No matter what we do or eat, there will be one man in our hearts and minds all day. Uncle Brian—as my children call him. He was my brother-in-law. My husband’s brother. And Nana and Poppy’s (or McParents—as I call them) beloved son. MSgt Brian P. McAnulty is what is on his grave.
I heard some “fun facts” about Memorial Day on the radio today (as I drove around buying groceries for our cook out). I just wanted to share them so as everyone enjoys their day, we all take a moment to remember the reason behind the holiday.
Memorial Day began as Decoration Day—a time when women’s groups in the south decorated graves of the fallen from the Civil War. Exact origins are unknown and highly debated.
May 5, 1868
General John Logan declared Decoration Day as May 30. Flowers were to be placed on the grave of Union and Confederate soldiers in Arlington.
This is the tradition/original day of observance for Memorial Day. In 1971, the government changed the date to create a 3-day week end.
In May 1966, Lyndon Johnson declared this the birth place of Memorial Day. Waterloo celebrated its first Memorial Day on May 5, 1866.
Last Monday in May
It’s the unofficial beginning of summer. And since 1911, it's the week end (not the day) of the Indy 500.
It became an official Federal Holiday in 1971. (No mail. No banks.) Also the year it changed from the 30th to the last Monday. (As previously mentioned.)
It wasn’t until after WWI that Memorial Day included all soldiers killed in conflict. Until this time it was to remember soldiers from the Civil War.
The US Flag should be at half-staff from sun-up until noon.
In 2000, the National Moment of Remembrance was passed. It asks all Americans to take a moment to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. "To voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a Moment of remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence or listening to Taps.”
I hope everyone enjoys their Memorial Day. I will. I hope everyone had family and friends to share it with. I will. And I hope everyone take a moment at 3PM to remember the fallen. I will.
We miss you, Uncle Brian. And we think about you every day. We send our love.
|MSgt Brian McAnulty|
|Memorial in Iraq|