Memorial Day is not only the official start of the summer season. It was originally called Decoration Day, with origins dating to Confederate women decorating the graves of their fallen loved ones. It is still a day to remember all the people who have died serving this country.
The nation’s second federal holiday instituted to honor those serving in the armed forces is Veterans Day, formerly known as Armistice Day. President Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924) proclaimed Armistice Day to be November 11, the date of the cessation of battles between the Allied nations and Germany in 1918. In European countries this day has been known as Remembrance Day, Armistice Day or Poppy Day.
Happy Memorial Day from the Libraries. Image: Iowa Seed Co., 29th Annual Catalogue, 1899, Front Cover. From the digital collection, Seed Catalogs. —Elizabeth Periale