Memorial Day Traditions


A bugler plays "Taps" during the fun...

A bugler plays “Taps” during the funeral of Caspar W. Weinberger, 15th secretary of defense, at his final resting place in Arlington National Cemetery Arlington, Va. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Many Americans have forgotten the meaning and traditions of Memorial Day. Most people no longer remember the proper flag etiquette for Memorial Day. We, the people of the United States of America can preserve the sanctity of the observance by: visiting memorials, flying the United States Flag at half-staff until noon, visiting cemeteries and placing flags or flowers on the graves of our fallen heroes, flying the ‘POW/MIA Flag’, participating in a “National Moment of Remembrance”: at 3 p.m. to pause and reflect upon the true meaning of the day and for Taps to be played, renewing a pledge to aid the widows, widowers, and orphans of our fallen dead, and to aid the disabled veterans.

The most commonly used lyrics for Taps:

Day is done, gone the sun, from the hills, from the lake, from the skies.
All is well, safely rest, God is nigh.
Go to sleep, peaceful sleep, may the soldier or sailor, God keep.
on the land or the deep, safe in sleep.
Love, good night, must thou go, when the day, and the night need thee so?
All is well.
Speedeth all to their rest.
Fades the light; and afar Goeth day, and the stars shineth bright, fare thee well; day has gone, night is on.
Thanks and praise, for our days, ‘neath the sun, ‘neath the stars, ‘neath the sky, as we go, this we know, God is nigh.


Honor Memorial Day

Has our remembrance forgotten?

Fredericksburg National Cemetery Memorial Day ...

Fredericksburg National Cemetery Memorial Day Luminaria (Photo credit: andrew.deci)

Since the late 50’s on the Thursday before Memorial Day, the 1,200 soldiers of the 3d U.S. Infantry place small American flags at each of the more than 260,000 gravestones at Arlington National Cemetery. To ensure that each flag remains standing, the Infantry then patrols 24 hours a day during the weekend. In 1951, the Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts of St. Louis began placing flags on the 150,000 graves at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery as an annual Good Turn, a practice that continues to this day. In 1998, on the Saturday before the observed day for Memorial Day, the Boys Scouts and Girl Scouts place a candle at each of approximately 15,300 grave sites of soldiers buried at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park on Marye’s Heights (the Luminaria Program). And in 2004, Washington D.C. held its first Memorial Day parade in over 60 years. The National Memorial Day Parade in Washington D.C. will be on Monday, May 28, 2012 at 2:00 pm.

Poppies For Memorial Day

English: 1948 U.S. postage stamp honoring Moin...

English: 1948 U.S. postage stamp honoring Moina Michael (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In 1915, inspired by the poem “In Flanders Fields,” Moina Michael conceived the idea to wear red poppies on Memorial Day in honor of those who died serving the nation during war. She sold poppies to her friends and co-workers with the money going to benefit servicemen in need. Later a Madam Guerin from France was visiting the United States and learned of this new custom started by Ms.Michael and when she returned to France, made artificial red poppies to raise money for war orphaned children and widowed women. This tradition spread to other countries. In 1921, the Franco-American Children’s League sold poppies nationally to benefit war orphans of France and Belgium. The League disbanded a year later and Madam Guerin approached the VFW for help. Shortly before Memorial Day in 1922 the VFW became the first veterans’ organization to nationally sell poppies. Two years later their “Buddy” Poppy program was selling artificial poppies made by disabled veterans. In 1948 the US Post Office honored Ms Michael for her role in founding the National Poppy movement by issuing a red 3 cent postage stamp with her likeness on it.

What is Memorial Day?

Oh, let’s go to a parade! General society views Memorial Day as the unofficial kick off of the summer. Many are confused as to which holiday they are participating in, Memorial Day or Veteran’s Day.

Memorial Day Commemoration 2008

Memorial Day Commemoration 2008 (Photo credit: davidyuweb)

Memorial Day, formally known as Decoration Day, is observed as the day we actively remember our ancestors, loved ones, neighbors, and friends who have given the ultimate sacrifice for their country. Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on May 5, 1868 by General John Logan and was first observed on May 30, 1868 when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. New York was the first state to officially recognize the holiday in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states. After World War I, when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war, it is now celebrated in almost every State on the last Monday in May (passed by Congress with the National Holiday Act of 1971 (P.L. 90 – 363) to ensure a three day weekend for Federal holidays).

Printable Tracing Guide for Numbers and Letters

Printable tracing guide for writing numbers and letters can help parents teach preschoolers through kindergarteners how to write the letters of the alphabet and numbers. You may also be interested in or Handwriting is becoming a lost art form. Technology has enabled us to no longer have a need to set pen to paper. Encourage your older children to write.

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Printable Create a Calendar

It does not need to be January for your preschooler or kindergartener to enjoy learning days of the week and months of the year by printing a calendar they can color and decorate of their own. Add your family and friend’s birthdays, anniversary, play dates and events for your child to countdown. Have fun! Get creative! Use a different color to write with for each member of your family.

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