HEADQUARTERS GRAND ARMY OF THE REPUBLIC
General Orders No.11, WASHINGTON, D.C., May 5, 1868
The 30th day of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet church-yard in the land. In this observance no form of ceremony is prescribed, but posts and comrades will in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit.
Memorial Day is a rememberance holiday, not a celebration holiday like the 4th of July. It was originally designated to honor the dead of the Civil War and was expanded to honor all war dead as America got older.
I have adopted my dad's pre-WWII best friend, Kenny Miller, as my personal one to remember. I never met Kenny, he died years before I was born, but he has come to represent in a very personal way, all the young Americans who never came home.
Kenny died in the skies over Holland when his B-24 was shot down by the Germans. He was a young man who never got to realize his dreams and ambitions that he shared with his best buddy Bill.
Rest in Peace Kenny and thank-you and all your comrades in arms for your sacrifices for me and all the next generations of Americans.