Thursday, May 22, 2014

Remember the True Meaning of Memorial Day this Weekend!

Memorial Day Weekend marks the start of the Season here at the Lake of the Ozarks! With all the hustle and bustle of Summer fun though, we can get distracted from the real meaning of the holiday. Your Lake of the Ozarks mortgage lender wanted to share some Memorial Day history with you in preparation for this weekends festivities.

Memorial Day, formerly known as Decoration Day, was established following the Civil War as a time to remember those who died in service and to decorate their graves with flowers.  It was not until after World War I, however, that the day was expanded to honor those who have died in all American wars.  In 1971, Memorial Day was declared a national holiday by Congress and the date was moved to the last Monday in May.

The First Memorial Day Celebrations 

One of the first observances occurred in Columbus, Mississippi on April 25, 1866, when a group of women visited a cemetery to decorate the graves of Confederate soldiers who had fallen in battle at Shiloh.  Many cities in the North and South today claim to be the birthplace of Memorial Day.  Macon and Columbus, Georgia, as well as Richmond Virginia all claim the title.  While Boalsburg, Pennsylvania claims the holiday began there two years earlier.  A cemetery stone in Carbondale, Illinois, the wartime home of General Logan, carries the statement that the first Decoration Day took place there on April 29, 1866.  Approximately 25 places, most being in the South where most of the war dead were buried, have been named in connection with the origin of Memorial Day.  

The Official Birthplace of Memorial Day Declared 

In 1966, President Lyndon Johnson declared Waterloo, New York the "birthplace" of Memorial Day. A ceremony was held on May 5, 1866 to honor local veterans who had fought in the Civil War. Businesses closed and residents flew flags at half-staff.  Supporters of Waterloo's claim say the earlier observances mentioned above were either informal, not community-wide or one-time events.  By the end of the 19th century, Memorial Day was being celebrated throughout the nation on May 30.  State legislature passed proclamations designating the day and the Army & Navy adopted regulations for proper observance at their facilities.

Some States Still Have Confederate Observances   

Many Southern states also have their own days for honoring the Confederate dead.  These states include Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, North & South Carolina, Louisiana, Tennessee, Texas and Viginia.

Confederate Memorial Day
  • Mississippi - last Monday in April 
  • Alabama - fourth Monday in April 
  • Georgia - April 26
  • North & South Carolina - May 10 
  • Louisianna - June 3 
  • Virginia - last Monday in May 
Confederate Decoration Day 
  • Tennessee - June 3 
Confederate Heroes Day 
  • Texas - January 19 

The first Memorial Day Ceremony held at Arlington National Cemetery of about 5,000 people is approximately the same size crowd that still attends today.  Each year, small American flags are placed on each grave, a tradition that has spread to many other national cemeteries today.

“Not only are they commemorated by columns and inscriptions, but there dwells also an unwritten memorial of them, graven not on stone but in the hearts of men.” - Pericles

To ensure the sacrifices of America's fallen heroes are never forgotten, the US Congress passed "The National Moment of Remembrance Act" in December 2011 which created the White House Commission and the National Moment of Remembrance.  The commissions charter is to "encourage the people of the United States to give something back to their country, which provides them so much freedom and opportunity."  The National Moment of Remembrance encourages all Americans to pause wherever they are at 3 PM local time on Memorial Day for a minute of silence to remember and honor those who have died in service to the nation.  "It's a way we can all help put the memorial back in Memorial Day" - Carmella La Spada, Moment of Remembrance Founder

For more information on the history of Memorial Day please visit:

I would love the opportunity to help you manage your Lake of the Ozarks Mortgage Loan or refinance.  Give me a call at (573) 746-7211 or send me an email at with any questions you may have!!

For Lake area news, resources and tips on financial services, please 

Michael Lasson
Sr. Residential Mortgage Lender
NMLS #: 493712

2265 Bagnell Dam Blvd, Suite B
PO Box 1449
Lake Ozark, MO 65049

Direct:  (573) 746-7211

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