Decoration Day 1943

Monday, May 31, 1943p.14_May 31, 1943

Decoration Day , now Memorial Day, would be solemn this year despite some unlikely schadenfreude, a German word for the pleasure we take at somelse’s misfortune. The Nazis were continuing to complain about Allied air strikes in Germany. The papers were reporting war casualties on 5 fronts now. More frightening were growing lists of those missing in action. Our current focus on Memorial Day barbecues and sales would have been shocking to Americans in 1943. Traditionally celebrated May 30, it was first declared a holiday after the Civil War as a day to honor those who had died in the war.  Families gathered at cemeteries to clean graves and renew memories. The day’s name officially became Memorial Day by federal law in 1967. In 1968, the date was changed to the last Monday in May to conform to the Uniform Monday Holiday Act which created three-day weekends. Senator Daniel Inouye, a WWII veteran, tried repeatedly but unsuccessfully to have the day returned to its original date and function.

 

 

This entry was posted in Chicago during WW II, Jewish life in America during WW II, Music and Media, WWII, Today in WWII, World War II and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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