Each year, America opens the summer season with a 3-day holiday at the end of May that includes Memorial Day. We often associate this late-May holiday with summer barbecues and parties, but it’s also a time to remember men and women who have died in military service. Observers commonly place flowers like roses on the graves of the fallen.
How Did Memorial Day Get Started?
After the devastation of the Civil War, a group of veterans decided that an official day of remembrance for war dead was necessary. They chose a date in late May to honor the fallen because it was assumed the spring weather would allow everyone to make trips to cemeteries to place flowers on graves.
One of the first official observances occurred at Arlington National Cemetery, and it wasn’t long before similar events started to occur around the country. Honoring the fallen of the Civil War was important to Americans all across the country because of the war’s tremendous cost of human life.
Interestingly, the day was originally meant to remember those who had perished in the Civil War, but World War I and the other conflicts of the 20th century led to the eventual inclusion of war dead from all conflicts.
Celebrating Memorial Day with Flowers
Flowers have a variety of meanings and come in virtually every shade. Just about any sort of bloom is appropriate for a Memorial Day remembrance whether you’re placing flowers on the grave of a loved one or whether you’re expressing gratitude for someone’s sacrifice at a family or neighborhood gathering with a patriotic arrangement of flowers.
Popular flowers for the holiday include carnations, roses, and mums because they’re available in the patriotic colors of red and white. Blue flowers tend to be a little rare, but one way to include blue in a patriotic arrangement is by using blue delphinium with red carnations and white Fuji mums.
If you’re looking for a subtle way to honor someone’s memory with flowers, you might choose an arrangement of red roses to decorate a grave as the color is often associated with courage. You may want to add white roses to the arrangement as a symbol of reverence.
Flowers are a beautiful and respectful part of your Memorial Day celebration whether you’re celebrating with friends at a barbecue or whether you’re taking a trip to a cemetery to decorate a grave and honor the fallen.