Beautiful flowers brighten anyone’s day, and they’re a traditional part of Memorial Day celebrations. As we usher in the summer season, activities like barbecues and parades will mark the long weekend around the holiday, and families may visit the graves of loved ones who died in service to their country to place flowers on headstones.
The History of Memorial Day
Like many modern holidays, Memorial Day grew out of America’s need to remember those who died in military service during the Civil War. Independent observances of “Decoration Day” would usually entail visits to the cemetery to place flowers on graves. Starting in the late 1860s when America was still recovering from the devastation of the Civil War, it became important for citizens to remember the sacrifices made by those in the military.
Decades later and after the United States had sent soldiers to fight in World War I and World War II, the holiday took on a new meaning and became a day to honor the fallen from all American wars. Celebrated in late May, the date of the holiday was chosen to ensure everyone around the country would have access to spring flowers for arrangements honoring the dearly departed.
Choosing Your Memorial Day Flowers
As with many national holidays, there aren’t any true rules to follow regarding which flowers you choose; however, a variety of blooms do offer beautiful meaning to the remembrance. If you knew someone who fought in a war and was killed while in service, including a floral tribute in patriotic colors is a beautiful way to remember that person.
You may consider placing a photograph of the soldier with the display, as well as bringing a photograph to the cemetery if you have access to the soldier’s final resting place. If you’re looking for a simple and respectful way to remember someone, you may think about placing a red rose on the headstone as a sign of remembrance and respect.
Placing flowers on the grave of a loved one has been a tradition for millennia. In the last few centuries, the tradition of placing flowers on a grave has been closely tied to military service and remembering those who fought in wars.
This Memorial Day, include flowers with your tribute to America’s fallen soldiers whether you’re celebrating with friends at a traditional summer barbecue or whether you’re making a trip to a loved one’s grave to honor and remember them.