Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day back when it was Decoration Day

Postmarked May 28, 1913.
At 31, future president James Garfield
became a brigadier general in the
Union Army, then, a major general
of volunteers at age 33.
I thought I had posted Memorial Day postcards from the archive in the past. And had planned to link to them, but a search through the blog did not turn up a single one. Odd.

So, I scanned in a batch. As the headline notes, Memorial Day began as Decoration Day, a public tribute to those who had fought in America's Civil War. My holiday postcard collection contains images from before 1919, so it reflects this initial celebration, which later morphed into a day to acknowledge all those who fought in our country's wars.

I'd like to think that I do not believe in war. I've marched against war on many occasions, and been arrested during a few of them. But even I know that there are times when war has been necessary, and that whether I back a war or not, I do respect those who have served … including two of my brothers, my father, quite a few of my uncles, and others in the past.

Postmarked Wooster, OH, May 29, 1909. Publisher unknown.


Two postcards by artist Ellen Clapsaddle (above) that were published by the International Art Publishing Co. of New York and Berlin. Both were printed in Germany. The one on the left was never mailed; the one on the right is postmarked Cleveland, May 27, 1912.

Published by Raphael Tuck & Sons, Decoration Day series No. 107. 
Published by Cincinnati's Gibson Art Co.

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