When most Americans think about Memorial Day, we’re planning barbecues and family outings and enjoying a federal holiday and long weekend that kicks off the summer season. However, it’s also a day where we can take some time out to consider those men, women and families who lost their lives or loved ones while serving in the armed forces.
In some ways, women were responsible for starting Memorial Day. The holiday’s beginnings date back to 1866 when women in both the Union and South began placing flowers on graves of the fallen from the Civil War. As Parade magazine reports, “One of the first ‘Decoration Days’ as it’s sometimes called, took place in a Southern cemetery and when the women placing flowers saw the neglected graves of the Union soldiers, they made a point to place flowers on their graves too. It was the first of many acts that would start healing that terrible wound.”
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