- May 28th 2012
Happy Memorial Day! We hope you’re enjoying the long weekend. As part of the celebrations here are some interesting facts about Memorial Day.
- Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day.
- Decoration Day was suggested by General John A Logan, leader of a civil war veterans’ association. The first Decoration Day was held on 30th May, 1868. The reason for this choice was that no battle had taken place on this day.
- Today’s participants would have recognized some of the common celebrations of Memorial Day. One the first ever Decoration Day, there were speeches and soldiers’ graves were decorated.
- By 1890, each northern state was marking Decoration Day as an official state holiday; celebrations took place on different days in the southern states.
- The origins of Memorial Day go back to the Civil War, when more lives were lost than in any other war in US history.
- Waterloo, New York, which held its first celebrations of the day in 1866, was named the birthplace of Memorial Day by the federal government.
- Decoration Day evolved into Memorial Day and was gradually extended to include all American military personnel who had died in different wars.
- Memorial Day was celebrated on May 3oth for almost a century. The date changed to the last Monday in May following the passing of the Uniform Monday Holiday Act in 1968.
- The day became a federal holiday in 1971.
- Some of the biggest Memorial Day parades are in Washington, D.C.m Chicago and New York.
- Poppy wearing originates with John McCrae’s In Flanders Fields poem.
- An additional observance on Memorial Day is the moment of remembrance, a minute of silence at 3PM local time on Memorial Day. This became law in 2000.
- May 25th 2012
Memorial Day weekend is here – what have you got planned? Although most people have booked their trips, it’s not too late to plan a quick getaway.
A Trip to Vegas
CNN Money’s top pick for a last minute getaway is Las Vegas which is said to be a better deal this year with comparatively lower airfare and room rates. And you might even be able to get a better deal if you can snag an early summer discount. Other places on CNN’s list include Orlando, Miami, New York and Chicago (and you can make even more savings by snagging our latest off airport parking deal). Read more »
- April 27th 2012
It’s almost May, which means summer is around the corner! But before we get there, we have plenty of occasions to celebrate in May.
Cinco de Mayo
Coming up first is Cinco de Mayo, originally a Mexican holiday and now celebrated in many parts of the US. We’ll be covering the holiday in more detail next week.
People have already celebrated Mother’s Day 2012 in the UK but now it’s our turn to make much of our moms and splash out on flowers, chocolate and celebrations. Sorry, dads, you’ll have to wait another month for your turn.
Memorial Day on May 28th is the day to honor the war dead at Arlington National Cemetery and across the country. Here’s how we marked the day last year. You can also honor the armed forces on Armed Forces Day on May 19th and the merchant navy on National Maritime Day on May 22nd. Read more »
- May 25th 2010
Soultravelers3′s response to my recent post on Memorial Day got me to thinking about something that travelers often experience – celebrating holidays that are important to them while in a country where people don’t even know they exist. Or, even if it’s a common holiday, creating that sense of home that makes the holiday special for you.
Many moons ago, I was spending Christmas in Barcelona, far removed from my usual haunts, with a bunch of people who weren’t going home for the holidays – a couple of Australians, a Canadian girl and me. Rather than stay in France and mope, we’d decided to do something different and head to Spain to experience the holiday there. We bought some small gifts (we were poor students), a couple bottles of wine, some chocolates, a mini Christmas tree and some tinsel to decorate our room. Before we settled in for the holiday, we walked around the city, which was blanketed in white (my first white Christmas) and absorbed the beauty and the atmosphere. Then we went back and talked about how we celebrated the holiday in our own homes. It didn’t make us less homesick, but it felt good to share. Read more »
- May 18th 2010
How are you planning to celebrate the Memorial Day weekend? Celebrated this year from May 28-31 the three day holiday has both a serious and a fun side. The serious of course is about commemorating the war dead, a practice that first started in 1868 following the Civil War. It was then known as Decoration Day. Memorial Day itself, celebrated on the last Monday in May, became a national holiday in 1971.
For those looking to adhere to the spirit of the holiday then one of the best places to start is with a trip to Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. Activities there include wreath laying, a remembrance ceremony and a concert. There is also the Flags-In ceremony which sees a flag placed in front of the gravestones of each service member buried there. The flags are placed just before the weekend and removed just after.
If you don’t happen to be near Virginia then there are lots of other memorials you can visit to commemorate the occasion. Many of these are in Washington DC but there are a few others in other parts of the country. Here’s a list of some of those memorials, courtesy of Wikipedia.