May 25, 2016 – Excerpted from Put Out Into the Deep, Bishop DiMarzio’s column in The Tablet:
My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord,
As we approach Memorial Day, which was originally was called Decoration Day, we are reminded that this is a day of remembrance for those who have died in defense of our Nation. The actual beginnings of Memorial Day seem to be lost in history. The fact is that after the Civil War there was a great need for reconciliation between the North and South. Although the celebration originally began in the North, it was eventually adopted by the South as a day when the opposite sides of the Civil War could be reconciled.
Memorial Day was first officially proclaimed on May 5, 1868 by General John Logan who was the commander of the Army of the Republic. It was first observed on May 30 of that year when flowers were placed on the graves of both Union and Confederate soldiers buried at Arlington National Cemetery. New York was the first state to officially recognize the holiday in 1873. Since that time, unfortunately, its true meaning has been lost for many as just another long weekend.
Read the full text of the Bishop’s column on The Tablet website.