May 30, 2016

Monanthous Monday

monanthous ~ having only a single flower

Happy Memorial Day to all my Yankee friends!

I have to admit to being a bit curious about the origins of Memorial Day. Other than it provides a long weekend in May to offset our Victoria Day weekend, and that it’s to honour fallen soldiers, I really don’t know much about it. So I thought it was about time I learned something new.

In the years following the Civil War, the federal government began creating national military cemeteries for the fallen Union soldiers. During the1860s it became the custom in many places to make a special acknowledgement of these soldiers in the late spring, decorating the graves with flowers and reciting prayers.

Decoration Day, as it was originally called, was observed on May 30th, and after World War I it became a day to commemorate all military personnel, no matter what conflict they died in. Gradually the name changed to Memorial Day and in 1968 Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act which established Memorial Day as the last Monday in May, thereby creating a three-day weekend and turning it into a federal holiday.

In Canada we have a similar day called Remembrance Day, that’s observed on November 11 each year. Originally it was Armistice Day, commemorating the fallen soldiers from World War I on the anniversary of the armistice being signed (the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month), but in 1931 it became Remembrance Day to encompass all branches of the Canadian Armed Forces no matter what conflict. However, it is not a federal holiday for us, so we don’t get the day off. It is customary, however to observe a moment of silence at the appropriate hour.

So ... among the things I didn’t get done over the weekend, I did not get my seeds planted, and my front garden is just a big lump of dirt still. Okay, there are a few weeds and an stray lily-of-the-valley or two, but no bedding plants. There was just no time to pick them out over the weekend, and in any case, it was too hot to garden. But I’m hoping the hubby and I can get the plants tonight and I can plant them a few at a time over the course of the week.

Yes, that’s right. In the space of a week I’ve gone from wondering if it’ll ever warm up to complaining about the heat. And not just the heat, we’ve got the humidity too. Guess it serves us right for living right beside Lake Ontario.

As I sit typing this (quickly because I’m in my recliner and I’m getting super over-heated having the lap top on my lap) I have a fan going. There’s one in the bedroom as well that I dug out at 3:30 a.m. when the heat woke me up and I couldn’t get back to sleep. And as much as I hate the noise from the air conditioner, I’m seriously looking forward to it going in the dining room window.

I think it’s going to be a long summer.


shortybear said...

God bless America

Jamie D. said...

We actually have Veteran's Day as well on November 11th, which is also a federal holiday. As I was reading last night, Veteran's Day is for all who have served in the past and survived/died of other causes, plus those who are still active today. Memorial Day is for those who died on the battlefield/in battle. An interesting distinction, methinks...

Good luck getting those plants in! :-) It's going to be a long summer of yardwork around here. *sigh*