Monday, August 8, 2011

Decoration Day

Decorating graves apparently was begun by freed slaves to honor the Union soldiers who died in a Confederate prison in Charleston, SC.  The practice was soon adopted by the north, as well, and “Decoration Day” continues to the present, although now re-named Memorial Day. Initially conceived to honor soldiers killed in the U.S. Civil War, by the early 20th century the observance had been generalized to all dead relatives and the fallen of all wars. While the holiday in late May continues to be official, informal decorating of graves now happens year around, and it expanded widely with the availability of inexpensive, realistic, artificial flowers. Now country cemeteries bloom right through the snow.
While the decorations are meant to honor loved ones passed, businesses have recognized a market and have offered for sale increasingly large and complex arrangements.
Where does remembrance end and competition begin?


  1. Oops, another one that business couldn't leave alone.

    Cemeteries here are wholly neglected and overgrown whereas in Germany they are tended to within an inch of banality.

    Plastic flowers, yuck.

  2. Guess there is always going to be competition no matter. And business will always try to make a buck.

  3. Decoration day is big around here -- as are the plastic flowers, alas.

  4. I don't go in for the big decorations, I think small bunches of flowers look nice upon the graves. When I was young, my grandma picked flowers from her rose bushes, snow ball bushes and lilac bushes and put them on the graves.