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8 Memorial Day Crafts and a Short History of Memorial Day
By: Caley Walsh
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Remember the men and women who have died in military service for the U.S. with patriotic Memorial Day crafts, including memorial day crafts for kids. Sure, these crafts are perfect for decorating for a Memorial Day BBQ, but they also demonstrate a level of appreciation for our fallen soldiers and a collective pride for our country. With the help of this article, share Memorial Day trivia with family and friends and answers to the questions, "why do we celebrate Memorial Day?" and, "When did Memorial Day become a national holiday?" The story of Memorial Day is an inspiring tale that everyone should hear. Don't forget to observe the National Moment of Rememberance at 3pm on Memorial Day with a moment of silence or your own personal observation.
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Memorial Day, also known as Decoration Day, was created after the American Civil War to honor soldiers who had died in the war. Waterloo, New York was the first town to officially observe Memorial Day, celebrating it first on May 5, 1866 and each year thereafter. General John A. Logan, the commander in chief of the veteran’s organization Grand Army of the Republic, issued a proclamation on May 5, 1868 that “Declaration Day” be observed as a national day, so the first Declaration Day was observed on May 30, 1868 nationwide. This date was importantly not the anniversary of a battle.
According to historian and Yale professor David Blight, Memorial Day was really created in 1865 by liberated slaves in Charleston at the site of a former Confederate prison camp. At the camp was a mass grave for Union soldiers who had died in captivity. Despite uncertain times right after the Civil War, the freed slaves reinterred the Union soldiers in individual graves in a fenced graveyard with arched entryway. On May 30, 1868, the freed slaves returned to the graves and decorated them with flowers, like others across the nation celebrating “Decoration Day.”
The name “Memorial Day” was not used until 1882, and was not declared the official holiday name until 1967. The date was moved from traditional May 30th date to last Monday in May in 1971 to ensure a convenient three-day weekend.
After World War I, Memorial Day was expanded to commemorate all U.S. men and women who have died in any war or military action. Memorial Day is a way to remember their great service to the country. Many police and fire department also honor men and women who have died in service on Memorial Day. Memorial services are held for fallen soldiers at churches and community centers, graves are visited and decorated with flowers and many towns hold parades. Volunteers place American flags at each gravesite at the National Cemeteries. A national moment of remembrance is held at 3 p.m. Eastern time.
Safety Pin American Flags- Kids and adults alike can create the perfect Memorial Day crafts with nothing more than safety pins and red, white and blue beads. Here’s how to create these patriotic flags.
Patriotic Starburst Bouquet- Kids can help paint and assemble these easy patriotic bouquets. These are great table centerpieces for a Memorial Day gathering.
Red, White and Blue BBQ Skewers- The perfect item for a Memorial Day BBQ, kids can help paint wooden spools for these patriotic skewers.
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