Reflecting on the Supreme Sacrifice
Memorial Day is a time when people across America pause to reflect on the supreme sacrifice made by American soldiers who have died in service to the nation. While the Memorial Day is celebrated and recognized by all Americans, it is a particularly poignant holiday for those who have loved-ones who have died in military service.
Memorial Day was established as a national holiday on May 5, 1868 and has an interesting history. The first Memorial Day ceremony was on May 30, 1868, about three weeks after the holiday was officially declared, at the Arlington National Cemetery. It was there that representatives of the United States government decorated the graves of soldiers on both sides of the Civil War, and thus began the now very common Memorial Day tradition of placing flowers and other mementos on the graves of American soldiers on May 30 of each year. Because the Civil War had caused such a strong divide in the United States, the Memorial Day tradition had a somewhat slow beginning. Southern states were reluctant to do anything to honor the dead in the North, and Memorial Day was not recognized by any state government until New York did so in 1873.
Other states slowly began to follow New York’s lead over the next several decades, but Southern states refused to acknowledge Memorial Day until well into the 20th century. Finally, after World War I, Memorial Day was almost universally recognized in all states as a day in which all war dead, not just victims of the Civil War would be officially honored. Since that time, millions of American families have made graveside visits of their loved-ones lost in wars a somber Memorial Day tradition.
The memorial industry offers a number of products that help make these Memorial Day visits as special as can be. Most notably, of course, are flag cases. To help make Memorial Day as significant as possible, the United States government has a tradition of presenting an American flag to the families of every service member who dies. (The United States is the only major nation on Earth to practices this tradition, by the way.) Many families encase these burial flags, which are larger than standard flags, in one of the beautiful, sturdy cases, and these cases become the center piece of elegant memorial showcases for their loved ones. And, of course, these memorials get extra special attention on Memorial Day.
Aside from flag cases, a number of other products are available that can make Memorial Day a special family day for many years to come. Many urns and keepsake urns are designed in military themes, and families often add military or patriotic elements to the headstones of their loved-ones who were veterans. These touching tributes to a family’s soldiers are sure to keep Memorial Day alive in the hearts of families across America for years to come.