why do we celebrate memorial day

Why do we celebrate Memorial Day?

Why do we celebrate Memorial Day? Does it mean the same as it used to?

As a child in the 1970s and 80s), Memorial Day was the one day of the year when we visited the graves of the people in my family. We would take flowers to my sister’s, grandmother’s, and grandfather’s graves. I also remember attending the Memorial Day Parade in our small town. I can remember marching as a little girl in Brownies and Girl Scouts. My mother was a Girl Scout Leader and dressed as the Statue of Liberty in the Parade. In addition, I remember seeing a photo of my dad dressed as Uncle Sam. Eventually, I marched in that same parade with the High School Band. Memorial Day was a time to remember those that had died while celebrating America. Beyond that, I was never really sure why we celebrated the day.

why do we celebrate memorial day
Parades are a common Memorial Day Celebration

After starting my own family, I moved out of state. Consequently, I did not live near a Cemetary where I had family buried. However, I did continue to go to a Memorial Day Parade. We would watch one of the longest-running Memorial Day parades in America. It began in 1884 and was in Portsmouth, Virginia. For me, the parade was a time to visit with friends and kick off summer. We always had a pool party after the festivities. Memorial Day was the day pools opened. That in itself was a reason for celebration. Probably not the real reason we celebrate, however. therefore, let’s take a look at the history of Memorial Day.

The history of why we celebrate Memorial Day

history-of-memorial-day
The history of Memorial Day

Memorial Day was originally Decoration Day. It was a day to remember the soldiers who died in the Civil War. The Civil war ended in 1865 and saw more deaths than any other conflict in our history. Therefore, the first national cemeteries were made. On May 5, 1866, Waterloo, NY celebrated the day with a community-wide event. Businesses were closed. Soldiers’ graves were decorated with flowers and flags. Then, two years later, General John A. Logan, a leader of Civil War veterans made May 30th the National Day of Remembrance.

During World War I, the holiday evolved as a time to honor and remember all U.S. soldiers who died. In 1968, congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act that changed the celebration to the last Monday of May. This created a three-day weekend for federal employees and thus started the Memorial-Day-Weekend idea. Memorial Day became a federal holiday in 1971. In addition, you can learn more about the history of this day here.

Why do we celebrate Memorial Day at church?

I already described to you how this holiday was celebrated when I was younger. Similarly, we also celebrated at church. With the separation of church and state being such a strong idea, you may wonder why we celebrate Memorial Day within religious institutions. All faiths feel a strong pull toward Memorial Day celebrations. You can learn more about the role of faith on Memorial Day here. Likewise, faith in Christ somehow makes this holiday even more meaningful.

As we remember the soldiers that gave their lives for our freedom, it is hard not to think of the One who died to free us from our sins. A soldier’s sacrifice is a reflection of the sacrifice Christ made for us. Remembering those who died in wars reminds us to remember Jesus too.

The biggest reason we celebrate.

the best reason to celebrate
The biggest reason we celebrate is Jesus.

Children’s books like The Little Pot, The Tea Pot, and The Oil Lamp can remind us of Jesus also. As these vessels interact with their potter, children begin to understand the love their creator has for them. Through this love, God sent His only son to die for us. Let that sink in a bit. He died for you! That is a day to remember and definitely a day to celebrate!

Become a fruit-bearing vessel like Little Pot!

being a fruit-bearing vessel is not as easy as reading a children’s picture book. That is why Little Pot and I have come up with a seven-step process that will allow the potter to grow love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control through you. Just put in your first name and email so we can send you those seven steps. Then you’ll get a fruitful Friday email each week with ways to be even more fruitful!

what is fruit of the spirit and how to grow and cultivate it

You can purchase these books here in our store and they can be signed by the author specifically for your little graduate. The books are also available on Amazon.

Disclosure: The links above are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

If you prefer to buy the entire set as a signed copy, go here. If you would like to schedule Dawn for a speaking engagement or author visit, go here.

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My book characters and I are here to help you make learning memorable and fun! Grab a cup of coffee and a cinnamon roll and let’s make sure the little people in your life understand the things you teach. Whether you are in public school, private school, or homeschool, let’s work together so we can sprout fruitful life stories!

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