Every last Monday of May, we observe Memorial Day. For some, it is a day off of work, the kick off of the summer and a barbeque. But for many, Memorial Day is a day of remembrance for those servicewomen and men that made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. The history of Memorial Day dates back to the Civil War and women played a significant role in its origin.
In the aftermath of the Civil War, women worked to leave behind the horrors of war by bringing peace and respect to our wounded nation. Lead by women like Ellen Call Long, women established the first Memorial Day Associations (usually named ‘Women’s Relief Society) by collecting flowers for what many know as “Decoration Day”. Not only did they memorialize the dead, but they also cared for the Civil War disabled, their widows and their children. Just after the Civil War ended in 1865, Call Long and other women leaders organized a women’s memorial society to mediate embittered enemies. On June 22, 1865, the memorial society created the first resolution that led to the creation of Memorial Day.
The National Moment of Remembrance encourages all to pause wherever they are at 3 p.m. on Memorial Day for a moment of silence to remember and honor those who have perished in service to the nation. As Moment of Remembrance founder Carmella LaSpada said, “It’s a way we can all help put the memorial back in Memorial Day.”