Memorial Day

The unofficial beginning of summer, weekend of swimming pool openings, the Indianapolis 500, spectacular sales at the mall, picnics, clogged highways, and excursions to the beach.

Lest we forget, Memorial Day began as Decoration Day, a day to honor the Civil War dead by decorating their graves with flowers. Although there were early accounts of memorial activities around the country, the “official” birth of Decoration Day stems from an idea by Henry C. Welles, a small town druggist in New York state, to decorate the graves of the Civil War dead. A year later, with the help of General John B. Murray, a civil war hero, the idea got off the ground and on May 5, 1966, the town not only decorated the graves, but the whole town and held a solemn march to the cemeteries.

In 1868, the commander-in-chief of the Grand Army of the Republic proclaimed May 30 to be a day for “decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet churchyard in the land.”

By 1882, the day became more widely known as Memorial Day. In 1966 that New York town was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day. In 1971 its date was changed from May 30 to the last Monday of May.

The name of that New York town where Memorial Day originated and the reason why this is relevant to Risky Regencies??

Waterloo, NY

I’ve been steeped in research into the battle of Waterloo and so am more acutely aware than usual of the sacrifices of soldiers. Then and now.

My father was a soldier. He luckily was not required to engage in battle as much as other soldiers in WWII, but he did devote his life to being an Army Officer. So this is a thank you to him, to the soldiers of Waterloo, to those in the Civil War, and to those fighting and dying today.

Do you know a soldier, past or present? Tell us about him or her.

Next week, I’ll bring news from Book Expo America, where Amanda, Deb, and I will be signing The Diamonds of Welbourne Manor! See my Media page for the time and place.

About diane

Diane Gaston is the RITA award-winning author of Historical Romance for Harlequin Historical and Mills and Boon, with books that feature the darker side of the Regency. Formerly a mental health social worker, she is happiest now when deep in the psyches of soldiers, rakes and women who don’t always act like ladies.
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