Memorial Day has Evolved

By Jeff Salter

Originally called Decoration Day, this is a day of remembrance for all those who have died in our nation’s service. Officially proclaimed in 1868, it was first observed on May 30 that year by placing flowers on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. Since 1968, Memorial Day’s observance moves each year to the last Monday in May.

That’s the official explanation.  But Memorial Day has also become a day to honor living veterans and first responders, as well as remembering deceased relatives or friends.  Since all those are noble pursuits, I can’t fault anyone for stretching the original intent of this day.

At about this time in 2011, I wrote about my relatives who served in uniform and also related some of the horrific mortality statistics of recent wars.
Please take another look at that year’s column:

† † † † † † † †

Called to Arms Again

I also want to take this opportunity to mention my tribute to the Greatest Generation, released one year ago by Astraea Press.  It’s Called To Arms Again — and it’s a novel which every surviving member of that generation should read.

I could just send you to the Amazon link, but since my talented colleague, Shea Ford, recently featured it on her blog, I’ll provide that link instead:


About Jeff Salter

Currently writing romantic comedy, screwball comedy, and romantic suspense. Fourteen completed novels and four completed novellas. Working with three royalty publishers: Clean Reads, Dingbat Publishing, & TouchPoint Press/Romance. "Cowboy Out of Time" -- Apr. 2019 /// "Double Down Trouble" -- June 2018 /// "Not Easy Being Android" -- Feb. 2018 /// "Size Matters" -- Oct. 2016 /// "The Duchess of Earl" -- Jul. 2016 /// "Stuck on Cloud Eight" -- Nov. 2015 /// "Pleased to Meet Me" (novella) -- Oct. 2015 /// "One Simple Favor" (novella) -- May 2015 /// "The Ghostess & MISTER Muir" -- Oct. 2014 /// "Scratching the Seven-Month Itch" -- Sept. 2014 /// "Hid Wounded Reb" -- Aug. 2014 /// "Don't Bet On It" (novella) -- April 2014 /// "Curing the Uncommon Man-Cold -- Dec. 2013 /// "Echo Taps" (novella) -- June 2013 /// "Called To Arms Again" -- (a tribute to the greatest generation) -- May 2013 /// "Rescued By That New Guy in Town" -- Oct. 2012 /// "The Overnighter's Secrets" -- May 2012 /// Co-authored two non-fiction books about librarianship (with a royalty publisher), a chapter in another book, and an article in a specialty encyclopedia. Plus several library-related articles and reviews. Also published some 120 poems, about 150 bylined newspaper articles, and some 100 bylined photos. Worked about 30 years in librarianship. Formerly newspaper editor and photo-journalist. Decorated veteran of U.S. Air Force (including a remote ‘tour’ of duty in the Arctic … at Thule AB in N.W. Greenland). Married; father of two; grandfather of six.
This entry was posted in Miscellaneous. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Memorial Day has Evolved

  1. I don’t believe fallen soldiers should be forgotten, but there is quite a bit of acknowledgement any more, more than there had been since WWII. I hope it is not glorified, but may be a reminder that war is not something that should be entered into lightly and is not something removed from real lives…it always includes real death. I have no problem with Memorial Day being a day to remember all the deceased, as I fear that society has gotten away from the care of family and ‘the family of man’ after this life.Maybe I am considered too religious by some, but there was a time when nearly everyone in every religion and society on Earth prayed for or venerated their deceased members, but I think so many have fallen away from the practice.If nothing else, people should remember where they came from and all that those who have been here before us who went through that we may be here and be in an easier world than they experienced.
    Congratulations on all the success you have been achieving,Jeff!


    • jeff7salter says:

      Thanks, Tonette.
      Yes, it’s very important to remember the staggering toll — in human lives — of wars. They are not pretty and don’t end after the two-hour movie is over. Often there are decades of reconstruction needed … and that does not even count the more personal costs.


  2. jbrayweber says:

    As much as I enjoy observing Memorial Day in the present sense, I do feel that people have become apathetic over the true meaning. Sure hanging at the beach, grilling, taking the off from work is all desirable. But we mustn’t lose sight of what the day REALLY means. Honoring our fallen soldiers.

    Our area experienced some ice storms earlier this year that closed many schools for several days. As required by law, those days must be made up. For most school districts including my own, that simply means adding on days to the school year. But for some districts, they chose to have school on Memorial Day. When some people were asked about it, they agreed with having school. After all, it was just another day. *shakes head* Clearly those people do not appreciate our military or are uneducated in the observance of the day, and take for granted their freedom. It’s a shame, really.

    Anyway, congratulations on your continued success, Jeff!


  3. jeff7salter says:

    Thanks for posting, Jenn.
    Yes, our school district also had classes in session on Mon. the 26th. Sev. parents were quite upset and many kept their kids home.


    • jbrayweber says:

      I’m totally against it. There are other days, less important days, that could have been or could be used. *shrug*


      • They took away “Presidents’ Day” here and with all due respect.left MLK Day open.They took away Good Friday and Easter Monday which also used to be big ,(esp.with the Catholic Church), and left a local day free.God figure their priorities.


  4. Shea Ford says:

    Thank you for the shout-out Jeff! May we never forget the lives offered to preserve our way of life ❤


    • jeff7salter says:

      Amen, Shea. Amen.
      And it’s up to us to be certain our kids and their kids … never forget those sacrifices.


  5. Pingback: Honoring Those Who Died in Service | Four Foxes, One Hound

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s