Chamblee54

Memorial Day

Posted in History, Holidays by chamblee54 on May 27, 2013






Memorial Day started as Decoration Day. During the War Between the States, people started to go out to graveyards, and put flowers on the soldiers. It is tough to say whether the custom started in the south. or the north. Waterloo NY is considered the official birthplace of Memorial Day. This is not what Abba was singing about.

WBTS was by far the most costly war in American history. There were more casualties in WBTS than in World Wars I, II, Korea, and Vietnam combined. Americans were not used to this carnage on this scale. Decoration Day was one of the results.

It was also, literally, a divisive war. The causes of the conflict are debated to this day. More men died of disease than in combat. Shitting yourself to death is not glory.

An important cause of the war was the desire, of some, to maintain their investment in slaves. In other words, the hundreds of thousands of Southern deaths were to insure that African Americans cannot be free. The lofty rhetoric of Memorial Day does not always reflect the squalid reality.

The legend is that May 30 was chosen because it was not the anniversary of any major battles. For many years after WBTS, the southern states had a separate day of remembrance. Confederate Memorial Day is still observed, though not on as large a scale as before.

The next major killing session for the United States was World War I. After this conflict, May 30 evolved into a day to remember all soldiers who died. The south began to embrace the unified holiday.

The United States lost at least 116,516 men in World War I. Almost all of these casualties were in 1918, the last year of the war. The other countries lost far more men. Not one person in a thousand can tell you today why World War I was fought. All it did was provide the causes of World War II, which was even more costly.

Pictures are from The Library of Congress. These are Union Soldiers from WTBS.





2 Responses

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  1. […] in a prison camp. The incident is described as the first Decoration Day, which later evolved into Memorial Day. As the article tells it, this Holiday was intended as a revolutionary statement about Black […]

  2. Memorial Day | Chamblee54 said, on May 21, 2014 at 10:10 am

    […] in a prison camp. The incident is described as the first Decoration Day, which later evolved into Memorial Day. As the article tells it, this Holiday was intended as a revolutionary statement about Black […]


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