In remembrance of those memories we should never forget.
Today is Memorial Day here in America. For most, it's a day off and a three day weekend.
For others, it's a day to remember those who have fallen in the service of their country.
So, today's Oddities post won't be so much odd as it will be, "Huh...I didn't know that!".
Known originally as 'Decoration Day', it was first observed on May 30th 1868 as a day to remember the Union soldiers who fell durring the Civil War. Because of this, southern states did not celebrate the day until after World War One, when the holiday was expanded to include all the fallen from every war.
Around Memorial Day, you will notice a lot of groups, like the local VFW or Lions Clubs, standing at the entrance to public places selling red poppies. The red poppy is a symbol for the fallen, and was inspired by the poem, In Flanders Fields. The imagery of the poppy is thought to represent the blood seeping from the shallow graves of the thousands of dead in the Flanders Fields.
Memorial Day didn't receive it's official name until 1967 when congress standardized it. And, until 1968, the day was observed on May 30th. That year congress changed Memorial Day to the last Monday in May.
Every year since 1948, on the Thursday before Memorial Day, the Armys 3rd Infantry, (The Old Guard), places an American Flag at every one of the 260,000 headstones at Arlington National Cemetery. They then patrol the cemetery 24 hours a day until after the holiday to ensure every flag remains standing.
This Memorial Day, take a moment to remember all the soldiers who have fallen in the service of their country. Like it or not, they are the reason we have a country to call our own.