The true origination of Memorial Day (originally named Decoration Day) is a bit lost in the annals of American history. Tradition holds that after the traumatic losses both sides suffered in the Civil War, a group of women from Pennsylvania showed their support as early as 1864, when they laid flowers on the grave sites of those lost in the Battle of Gettysburg. In 1865, a group of women in Vicksburg, Mississippi did the same, remembering their local battles, and from that point on, leaving flowers as a memorial became a tradition. Although Waterloo, NY claims that it was the first town to celebrate Decoration Day officially, many other places also lay claim to its genesis. Regardless of who was truly first, General John Logan made the holiday official in May 1868, guaranteeing its place in our history.
Through the years, many other traditions have evolved. Flags fly at half mast until noon, when they are once again raised in recognition of those still living. Taps is played as a memorial to those lost. Many towns have parades and picnics to gather together in a spirit of American pride. And Vietnam Veterans take to the streets of Washington DC with over 300,000 bikers in an annual tribute to POW and MIA brethren.
Love, Memory, and Honor
But still and all, the original act of honor – laying a wreath of flowers at a loved one’s graveside – remains one of the most time honored traditions of the day.
It is in this spirit that Nanz & Kraft Florists proudly offer Love, Memory and Honor. This patriotic arrangement is comprised of red roses and gerbers, as well as a variety of white and blue blooms, to elegantly remember your heroes. Aptly named, the wreath acknowledges the attributes of American servicemen and women throughout all of American history, while recognizing them for their contributions. To order this or any other arrangement for Memorial Day, visit us in one of our three Louisville floral shops. We look forward to helping you honor and express gratitude to your loved ones this Memorial Day,