Decoration Day, now called Memorial Day, is a day to honor those veterans who have died either in battle or as a result of service to ones country. It is not Veteran’s Day which is celebrated in November. It was called decoration day because of the graves of veterans that were decorated with flags and flowers (One version of the story of how it started was it originated in Knoxville, TN in the 1800s.). Here we celebrate it with furniture sales, car sales, and trips to the beach as it heralds the unofficial start of summer
Flags should be at half-staff for the day. First raised to the top in the morning, then lowered to half-staff for the remaining of the day, then before lowering the flag it is again raised to the top of the pole momentarily, then lowered for the night (unless the flag is illuminated then it can remain up.)
As a pup I can remember Memorial Day parades in Mineola on Long Island, marching in my scout uniform, and going to the national cemetery and placing flags by the graves, a practice began in the 1800s, that is now held at most every national cemetery.
So on Monday, Memorial Day 2012, take a moment from your busy schedule and say a prayer for all those who gave their lives to protect our wonderful way of life, for the family of those who died who then had, or now have, to suffer on without them.