Quote for Today: As America celebrates Memorial Day, we pay tribute to those who have given their lives in our nation’s wars. John M. McHugh
This National Holiday was originally founded after the War Between the States to honor men and women who perished in and around Richmond, Virginia. Over the years, this holiday has also come to mean the beginning of summer with the end of summer being the holiday we know as Labor Day. Other events on this weekend include the Indianapolis 500 which is held the Sunday before Memorial Day each year.
While this long weekend is cause for celebration in a reduced work week, we need to put this holiday in its correct perspective and truly honor the fallen soldiers who selflessly gave their lives for our freedom. Take the opportunity to visit sites and towns that symbolize patriotism and respect for America.
Our Pick: Top Memorial Day Cities for History Buffs
Arlington County, Virginia – Arlington National Cemetery is a military cemetery in the United States of America, established during the American Civil War on the grounds of Arlington House, formerly the estate of the family of Confederate general Robert E. Lee’s wife Mary Anna (Custis) Lee, a great grand-daughter of Martha Washington.
President Herbert Hoover conducted the first national Memorial Day ceremony in Arlington National Cemetery, on May 30, 1929. The cemetery is situated directly across the Potomac River from the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.
Warrenton, Virginia – The town is in the Piedmont region of Virginia, near the Blue Ridge Mountains. It was incorporated on January 5, 1810, and named for General Joseph Warren, a Revolutionary War hero. A claim was made in 1906 that the first Civil War soldier’s grave ever decorated was in Warrenton, Virginia on June 3, 1861, implying the first Memorial Day occurred there.
Savannah, Georgia - There is authentic documentation that women in Savannah, Georgia decorated soldiers’ graves in 1862. Savannah is ranked as one of the “top ten beautiful places in the America” by USA Weekend Magazine and places second on Southern Living “Best Southern City” list. The City has true Southern charm and is patriotic and respectful of its history.
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania – In 1863, the cemetery dedication at Gettysburg was a ceremony of commemoration at the graves of dead soldiers. The Gettysburg National Cemetery within the Gettysburg National Military Park is the final resting place for over 3,500 Union soldiers and has subsequent sections for Spanish-American War, World War I, and other wars’ soldiers and their spouses and children.
Boalsburg, Pennsylvania – The village claims to be the birthplace of Memorial Day. It is home to the Pennsylvania Military Museum, as well as the headquarters of the Civil War re-enacting unit, 3rd Pennsylvania Light Artillery Battery B.