Updated: Jun 2, 2021
Tomorrow, the last Monday of the month
of May is Memorial Day. It is a Federal Holiday marking the beginning of summer, discounts on linens, and a brief pause to place flowers on the graves of fallen soldiers. To never forget the ravages of war. To honor the lives sacrificed America has been in a state of war since before our Founding Fathers assembled in Pennsylvania. The cost of this war is most often borne by the poorest and the most disenfranchised among us. During the Civil War, the true price was seen for the first time through photography, through eyewitnesses on picnic blankets at Gettysburg, and felt by millions.
Towns and states began hosting Memorial Day Celebrations called Decoration Day. In the South, the Lost Cause Mythology became intertwined with celebrations and remembrance of the millions sacrificed. Union veterans pushed back against these practices with a national holiday and when World War 1 was over, a central theme emerged of remembering ALL the lives lost in sacrifice to the American Ideals of Peace, Justice, and Freedom. Several organizations adopted the poppy flower as their symbol of remembrance.
For 150 years we have honored the sacrifice of men and women in the military. Eight generations of loss in America’s name, when will it be enough?