Memorial Day

Today I’m revisiting a blog I wrote in 2009 about Memorial Day and it seems very appropriate to revisit it.

Memorial Day is the unofficial beginning of summer, the 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

In 2009 I was steeped in research into the battle of Waterloo and was even more acutely aware than usual of the sacrifices of soldiers. Then and now. The book I’m writing now will involve the battle of Waterloo again, and readers will notice that most of my heroes have been soldiers or former soldiers.

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. Still. Like they were in 2009.

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

I’m also doing my very first Goodreads Giveaway! Here’s the widget!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

A Lady of Notoriety by Diane Gaston

A Lady of Notoriety

by Diane Gaston

Giveaway ends June 17, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

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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3 Responses to Memorial Day

  1. My dad served toward the end of the Korean War. Unfortunately, my parents didn’t consider it an honor for him to serve his country. I learned to respect those who serve as an adult. Much of what I learned, I learned through reading. I’m so grateful for all those who have fought and died for freedom. May their families be blessed.

  2. My father fought in the infantry during the Korean War. He was awarded a Bronze Star for carrying a number of his injured comrades to safety and then drawing fire onto his position so the rest of his unit could fall back and regroup. He also served during the Vietnam war in the Air Force. Three of my mother’s six brothers served in the military. The oldest served in the Navy during WWII as a Seabee. My father’s father served in the Navy during WWII.

    Thank you to all who have served, to those who gave all and to those who continue to serve. God bless them and keep them and return them safely to their families who also have my gratitude.

  3. diane says:

    To Laurel and Louisa,
    My father was stationed in Korea twice. Once right after the Korean War (a forgotten sort-of war) and once during the Vietnam war. He was not in combat during those tours.
    I grew up being proud that my father was in the army. I can’t imagine feeling any other way.

    Louisa, your father was a genuine hero!

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