|Graves at Arlington National Cemetery|
Memorial Day has its roots in the tradition of placing flowers on soldier’s graves after the American Civil War, known then as “Decoration Day”. It became an attempt at reconciliation between the North and the South when a group of Northern war veterans had May 30th declared a National Holiday in 1868. Due to the animosity that continued to exist, reconciliation after that bitter civil war was long in coming. But after the turn of the century, Memorial Day did indeed become a day when we pause to remember all of our war veterans from all wars and all those who honorably served our country. May they rest in Peace and may we never forget.
I have never been able to think of the day as one of mourning;
I have never quite been able to feel that half-masted flags were appropriate on Decoration Day.
I have rather felt that the flag should be at the peak, because those whose dying we commemorate rejoiced in seeing it where their valor placed it.
We honor them in a joyous, thankful, triumphant commemoration of what they did.~Benjamin Harrison