Saturday, May 24, 2014

Happy 147th Memorial Day America, Monday, May 26, 2014

Happy 147th Memorial Day Weekend America!

“We cherish too, the Poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led,
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies."
~~ Moina Michael (aka Poppy Lady)
U.S. professor and humanitarian who vowed to always wear a red poppy as a symbol of remembrance for those who served in the war. In 1915, inspired by the poem "In Flanders Fields," Moina Michael replied with her own poem, We Shall Keep the Faith, November 1918

In Flander's Field by John McCrae
In Flanders Fields the poppies blow,
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky,
The larks, still bravely singing, fly,
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead.
Short days ago,
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved and now we lie,
In Flanders Fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe
To you, from failing hands, we throw,
The torch, be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us, who die,
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow,
In Flanders Fields.


Memorial day marks the first day of the year for white-wear. The traditional fashion trend, “no white before Memorial Day or after Labor Day” gained popularity as the wealthy began wearing white in the summer. Light clothing was the symbol of leisure and black and navy were always the norm for the working class. This fad continued until years later as many began replacing white pants with the likes of bold solids and floral prints, pastel jungle prints, red jumpsuits, neon pink and cobalt sun dresses.


The first Memorial Day celebration traces back to May 30, 1868 and today marks the 147th Memorial Day celebration in America (146 years ago). Memorial Day honors men and women who fought for our country so that we can all be free.

Originally coined "Decoration Day," Memorial Day is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service. Memorial Day is less about barbecues and more about celebrating our nation’s veterans. Don't forget -- raise your flag half-staff -- honor more than one million Americans who gave their lives in service of this country for our freedom.

Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on May 5, 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 May 30, 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.

Other Resources

► Enjoy the Long Weekend with These Memorial Day Fashion Finds
► Who, What, Wear blog, Three Outfit Ideas for Memorial Day Weekend
► Do You Have to Wait Until After Memorial Day to Wear White? |
Moina Bell Michael: the Idea for the Flanders Fields Memorial Poppy
Memorial Day Calendar
Memorial Day History
How to Observe Memorial Day
Buddy Poppy
The Story Behind the Poppy

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Wishing you and yours a wonderful Memorial Day weekend.

All photos courtesy of Wikimedia unless otherwise indicated.

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