by Michael Hamline, Editor / Published May 2014
On May 26, Americans will have the opportunity to celebrate Memorial Day. Unfortunately, the origin and importance of this day has been obscured over time, and I suspect for most Americans it simply means a three-day weekend. However, there is an important reason for the origin of Memorial Day and for American’s continued observance of it. A history and meaning of Memorial Day can be found by visiting the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs website at www1.va.gov/opa/speceven/memday/history.asp#hist.
According to the website, “Three years after the Civil War ended, on May 5, 1868, the head of an organization of Union veterans … established Decoration Day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers.” Originally, Decoration Day was celebrated on May 30, but it is now observed as Memorial Day and celebrated on the last Monday of May after an act of Congress in 1971 declared Memorial Day a national holiday. Though initially established to celebrate the soldiers who gave their lives in the Civil War, after World War I, it was expanded to honor and remember all those who have died in Americas wars.
This month, one way Cleaner Times | IWA desires to honor and remember those who have given their lives to defend our freedom is to share experiences from a few military veterans in Diane Calabrese’s article, “In Memoriam: Honoring the Sacrifice of America’s Military Veterans.” These men share important lessons they learned while in the military that they have taken into the pressure washing industry. Another way Cleaner Times | IWA would like to invite our industry to honor and remember the memory of America’s fallen heroes is to observe The National Moment of Remembrance, passed by Congress in 2000, which encourages “all Americans to pause wherever they are at 3:00 p.m. local time on Memorial Day for a minute of silence to remember and honor those who have died in service to the nation.”