The first Memorial Day observance was held in 1868 at Arlington National Cemetery, in Arlington, Virginia just across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C.
Patriot Spirit Wreath
An organization of Union veterans — the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) — established Decoration Day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. Maj. Gen. John A. Logan declared that Decoration Day should be observed on May 30. It is believed that date was chosen because flowers would be in bloom all over the country.
In 1966, Congress and President Lyndon Johnson declared Waterloo, N.Y., the “birthplace” of Memorial Day. By the end of the 19th century, Memorial Day ceremonies were being held on May 30 throughout the nation. State legislatures passed proclamations designating the day, and the Army and Navy adopted regulations for proper observance at their facilities.
Elegant Memorial Bouquet
In 1971, Memorial Day was declared a national holiday by an act of Congress, though it is still often called Decoration Day. It was then also placed on the last Monday in May, as were some other federal holidays.
For more than 60 years, the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) has honored America’s fallen heroes by placing American flags at gravesites for service members buried at both Arlington National Cemetery and the U.S. Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Home National Cemetery just prior to the Memorial Day weekend.
This tradition, known as “Flags in,” has been conducted annually since The Old Guard was designated as the Army’s official ceremonial unit in 1948. Every available soldier in the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment participates, placing small American flags at each headstone and at the bottom of each niche row.
Conklyn’s Florist has been delivering and placing flowers in Arlington Cemetery daily for over 75 years. We even take a “snap shot” of the flowers at the grave site for customers who live all over the world.
We would be honored if you would select Conklyn’s to place flowers at the grave of a loved one this Memorial Day.
Memorial Blooming Plant