Memorial Day History

May 23, 2012

Memorial Day was first observed on May 30, 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. New York was the first state to officially recognize the holiday in 1873. It was finally recognized by all northern states in 1890. It was not until after WWI, that the South began to acknowledge the holiday. It was at that time when the holiday changed from only honoring those that died in the Civil War to honoring all Americans who died in any war.

Poet Moina Michael developed the idea to wear red poppies on Memorial Day to honor those who died while at war. She sold the poppies and donated the money to servicemen in need. If you attended the All Schools Day parade in McPherson this year, you may have either seen poppies being handed out or wore one yourself.

This information came from Visit the website to learn even more about the history of Memorial Day.