Memorial Day: Not About Hot Dogs

Kindra M. Austin

To all of you who do not know the history–the reason for Memorial Day, I’m taking you to school. Leave your Bud beer, shitty potato salad, and platter of grilled meats at the table.

american-flag-10Memorial Day honors men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. This holiday originated in the years following the Civil War, officially proclaimed on May 5, 1868 by General John Logan, a leader of an organization for Northern Civil War veterans, and was known as Decoration Day.  On the first Decoration Day, General James Garfield spoke at Arlington National Cemetery, where 5,000 people decorated the graves of 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers.

New York was the first state to recognize the holiday in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states; the south honored their dead on separate days until after WWI, when Memorial Day was changed to honor…

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