From the Official Memorial Day Holiday Website:
“Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation’s service. There are many stories as to its actual beginnings, with over two dozen cities and towns laying claim to being the birthplace of Memorial Day. There is also evidence that organized women’s groups in the South were decorating graves before the end of the Civil War: a hymn published in 1867, “Kneel Where Our Loves are Sleeping” by Nella L. Sweet carried the dedication “To The Ladies of the South who are Decorating the Graves of the Confederate Dead” (Source: Duke University’s Historic American Sheet Music, 1850-1920). While Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966, it’s difficult to prove conclusively the origins of the day. It is more likely that it had many separate beginnings; each of those towns and every planned or spontaneous gathering of people to honor the war dead in the 1860’s tapped into the general human need to honor our dead, each contributed honorably to the growing movement that culminated in Gen Logan giving his official proclamation in 1868. It is not important who was the very first, what is important is that Memorial Day was established. Memorial Day is not about division. It is about reconciliation; it is about coming together to honor those who gave their all.”
“Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war). It is now celebrated in almost every State on the last Monday in May (passed by Congress with the National Holiday Act of 1971 (P.L. 90 – 363) to ensure a three day weekend for Federal holidays), though several southern states have an additional separate day for honoring the Confederate war dead: January 19 in Texas, April 26 in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi; May 10 in South Carolina; and June 3 (Jefferson Davis’ birthday) in Louisiana and Tennessee.” read more…
Jeanne D’Arc – AKA Joan of Arc – was a 19 year old French chick who was burned at the stake in France in 1431.
Jeanne D’Arc connection, May 30, 1431. Source, revdrron.blogspot.com/.
“On this day in 1431 Jeanne d’Arc (1411-1431) perished at the fiery hands of her English foes. She was subsequently declared innocent by the Inquisition on July 7, 1456 after a lengthy re-trial process which was initiated shortly after the English were finally driven from Rouen, thereby allowing access to the documents and witnesses associated with her trial; the presiding Inquisitor, Jean Bréhal, ruled that the original trial had been tainted by fraud, illegal procedures, and intimidation of both the defendant and many of the clergy who had taken part in the trial, and she was therefore described as a martyr by the Inquisitor.”
“After the usual lengthy delay associated with the sluggish and questionable process of canonization, she was beatified on April 11, 1909 and canonized as a saint on May 16, 1920.”
“For some Christians of a different tradition than me, today is the feast day of St. Joan of Arc. Interestingly, it comes on the heels of Memorial Day. I was reminded that many female Christian soldiers wear a medal of Jeanne d’Arc along with their dog tags, seeing as how she was the patron saint for female soldiers (and any female military).”
“So, while keeping all service personnel in your prayers, today on the feast day of Joan of Arc, keep in mind the American women who have gone to serve and not returned home.”
“St. Joan refused to follow any command but God’s!”