Memorial Day kicks off the summer season in most people’s minds, but it’s about more than just a party. Memorial Day is a day of remembrance for those soldiers who have fallen in combat. Arising from the Civil War, communities would leave flowers on the graves of fallen soldiers in tribute to their bravery.
In 1868, the holiday was known as Decoration Day and was called into action by General John A. Logan. The holiday was adopted from Southern states that had been celebrating similarly for three years. These early celebrations were days meant to be spent in remembrance of the fallen and be honored by tending to cemeteries. Southern women would decorate the graves with garlands, bouquets, and other displays. This is where the name Decoration Day derives from.
Memorial Day officially became a federally recognized holiday in 1971 and assigned to the last Monday in May when Congress standardized the holiday. For over 150 years, Americans have celebrated Memorial Day in a variety of ways.
Incorporating Flowers Into Your Memorial Day Plans
It’s important to remember the traditions and the reason behind the celebration. While you may be hosting a barbeque or some other kind of event, remembering the fallen soldiers should be a part of that too. Because flowers were the traditional way that soldiers were honored, incorporating flowers into your day is a gentle nod to Memorial Day’s importance.
A sweet bouquet of white and red roses radiates purity and passion, as that is what they symbolize. Adding some small blue flowers to an arrangement can incorporate a sense of patriotism.
Poppies, of course, are a beautiful way to commemorate the lives of those lost. As the symbolic flower representing the holiday, a display of poppies will be not only beautiful, but a deeply thoughtful gesture. They also symbolize consolation, remembrance, and loss. Poppies have long since symbolized Memorial Day celebrations. “In Flanders Field” by John McCrae notes the poppies that grew along the graves of the soldiers in Flanders field.
The gladiolus is another customary flower that represents Memorial Day. With their sword-like shape, they serve to remind us of the brave character and honor of the soldiers who we have lost in combat. Because poppies typically do not flourish as cut flowers, gladioli are a beautiful traditional alternative to using poppies.
Daisies symbolize innocence and purity. It is said of Celtic legend, that daisies were sown across the earth for parents in remembrance of their lost children. Memorial Day is a day to remember that the lives lost weren’t just soldiers, but parents, siblings and the children of grieving mothers and fathers.
Carnations represent sweetness and purity. They can also symbolize healing and strength. On a day that can be deeply felt by so many, gathering a bouquet of white carnations is a simple way to pay a beautiful tribute. You could also opt for a more patriotic color display of red, white, and blue.
Lilies are always a classic, and they can represent innocence, purity, devotion, and have long since been used to be representative of mourning of lives lost. A bold display of white lilies may create a slightly somber feeling, but the beauty they represent will be a lasting emotion.
Choose the Right Flowers at Flower Works
Choosing the right flowers for a Memorial Day tribute can be a formidable task. Doing honor to the fallen is never an easy undertaking. If you need help picking the best flowers, at Flower Works, we offer our Patriotic Floral Tribute. We’ll select an appropriate array of flowers in a patriotic color range to best represent your tribute.
The courage of those who gave the ultimate sacrifice shouldn’t be forgotten. Contact us today.