The Truth About Memorial Day

According to oral history this holiday existed predating the Civil War. It goes all the back to Colonial times. It was not about military remembrance. It was the day one remembered deceased relatives as a whole not military. Veteran Day is reserved for that.

But in 1971 congress changed the meaning to what we know today. It was once the day the family cleaned off and decorated the graves of their loved ones. Military served or not.

Why it’s important in the African American community has nothing to do with veterans. Nor the American flags. It was the only day some of the more lenient plantations allowed their slaves this day off to attend their loved ones burial spot. This is how historians know the location of many slave cemeteries, the final resting place of many slaves that would have otherwise been lost. Markers were not added to the graves until after the Civil War. The marker was usual a tree or bush or arrangement of stones.

This is how we are able to find graves in the original 13 colonies dating back to the 1600’s and 1700’s. There was an annual day of maintaining them and remembering the dead.

By changing the meaning of the holiday Congress unconsciously erased much of the original history as to why the day was established to begin with. This is why many older African Americans, especially those in rural areas will not cook out on this day. They consider it a dishonor to those who gave their lives as the full measurement in a situation they had no control over.  The oral history was passed onto them that it was a day of remembrance of their relatives who had passed on while still in bondage.

In many parts of the country this day still isn’t about barbecuing and family fun. It’s about remembrance of all who have passed on. Like I said military or not. The military aspect of this day wasn’t added until after the Battle of Gettysburg.

The original decorations were not flags. It was flowers. When the honorary day was started the United States didn’t exist. It had no flags. Betsy Ross hadn’t made and sewn the “Spirit of 76”. She wasn’t born yet. The May flowers meant Resurrection to a better life.

Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971.

In 1868, Commander in Chief John A. Logan of the grand Army of the Republic issued what was called General Order Number 11, designating May 30 as a memorial day.

In 1971, Memorial Day was declared a national holiday by an act of Congress, though it is still often called Decoration Day. It was then also placed on the last Monday in May, as were some other federal holidays.

About unholypursuit

A. White, an award winning former librarian, who is also a long time member of Romantic Time and Publisher's Weekly. A. White has been writing for over fifteen years. She took classes in creative writing in college, specializing in ancient myths and legends. and later at a local community center while living in Chicago. In college she won the national contest to verbally list every country in the world, it's capital and ingenious language. Her works are mainly horror, fantasy, extreme, and sci-fi as well as, as some may says, "the truly strange predicament and puzzling." Books that I've written are "Clash with the Immortals, and eleven others which are part of the "Unholy Pursuit saga,". She has been working on the Chronicles since 2007. She wished to complete them all before introducing them to public so the readers wouldn't have to for the continuation to be written. The ideas of the book come from classic literature such as whose work greatly influence the world world such as Homer, Sophocles, Herodotus, Euripides, Socrates, Hippocrates, Aristophanes, Plato, Aristotle and many more. The "Book of Enoch" influenced the usage of Azazael as a main character and love interest. I created the primary main character from the Chronicle of Saints. I wanted to show them as real flesh and blood with thoughts, desires and yearning as any human. Not as they are so often depicted. So I created one of my own to show her as a real human that everyone can relate to.
This entry was posted in African American History, ANNOUNCEMENTTS, history, Paranormal and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to The Truth About Memorial Day

  1. The Militant Negro says:

    Reblogged this on The Militant Negro™ and commented:

    FINALLY the real meaning of Memorial Day. Thank YOU.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Memorial Day For Family. NOT Dead Soldiers. – The Militant Negro™

  3. And before anyone write me about not being patriotic enough for what I wrote. I will have you to know I’ve had male relatives involved in every war this country ever fought. I think we could keep days like today in it’s true meaning. It takes nothing away from the veterans for all to be remembered who have passed on.

    However, I’ll say this, it’s easy to run around waving a flag but it is hard dealing with the aftermath of a war about when the sound of battle is over.

    On Mon, May 28, 2018 at 11:18 AM, The Novel: UnHoly Pursuit: Devil on my Tra


    • Terry says:

      Thanks you soldier families for the sacrifice you made. Without you guys standing behind each soldier he or she would have no reason to defend freedom. They do it for their own families. Those like mine’s just happen to benefit from it but it’s you guys whom they’re truly fighting for. Thank you for sharing the warriors among your kinsmen.


  4. Thank your for sharing your opinion about the Memorial Day. We also had wars and revolutions in Hungary and I always remembered about our heroes, because that’s why I can live in democracy and freedom now.


    • You are welcome. As a history major I’m familiar with many of the past conflict in Hungary but I’m glad to see that it revolved into a republic. No, that’s not my opinion. That’s the origin of the date, at least in America. It wasn’t declared a day of memorial solely for those who died in battle or those died of natural causes until after the American Civil War. The original day was called Decoration Day or Memorial Day depending on where you lived. It was a day of memorial for all who had passed on.

      Every republic is maintained by sacrifices of others and it would do well if we showed it every day by showing our living veterans how much we appreciate their sacrifices. As the child of a soldier I can tell the public that the sacrificing does not end with the war is over.


  5. Amy says:

    Very interesting! Now I want to look more into this! Thanks for sharing ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Amy, you’re welcome. I’m happy to have prompted so many to look into this day’s original meaning. If you can find older books in your local library on the subject of observations, they weren’t always called holidays as we call them today you will be more apt to find what you are looking for. Online articles rarely goes into full depths on a subject. It usually feature the most popular definition. 🙂


  6. Lisa Warner says:

    As a child growing up my grandparents used this day to teach us about our ancestors. I didn’t encounter the other meaning until I moved away from home to attend college. A lot of people still use it as a Memorial Day for all who are no longer with us.

    On Mon, May 28, 2018 at 11:18 AM, The Novel: UnHoly Pursuit: Devil on my Tra

    Liked by 1 person

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