As we gather with our families and friends and loved ones this Holiday weekend, may we be truly mindful of what we honor this day. Originally set aside in 1868 as Decoration Day so that the graves of the Union and Confederate Civil War heroes at Arlington National Cemetery could be decorated with flowers, it was intended as a day of reconciliation and not division, a day to honor those who gave their lives for our freedom. While New York made it an official holiday in 1873, and it was an official holiday in all northern States by 1890, the Southern States refused to participate with the Yankees, and had their own day set aside to honor their Confederate Soldiers.
After World War I, the last Monday in May was officially set aside to honor all of our fallen soldiers, not just those who perished in the Civil War, and the tradition to decorate their graves continues. Several Southern States still have their own official day to honor those who gave their lives for the Confederacy. This video, to me, embodies the reason for the day, and is accompanied by a beautiful rendition of Amazing Grace sung acapella by Leann Rimes.