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May 25, 2022

Memorial Day Message From 2022 President Derek English

As President of the Greater Chattanooga Realtors®, I have enjoyed sharing local market statistics and real estate trends as part of my presidential duties. In fact, I’ve been humbled by the generous (if not exaggerated) compliments I’ve received from friends and acquaintances who express their interest and appreciation for these weekly articles. Admittedly, I didn’t expect nor anticipate becoming an amateur writer, but I’ve become fond of this platform as a way to communicate what I feel to be important news and topics. This week, I wanted to take a break from talking real estate and direct attention toward our upcoming Memorial Day. 

While most people are making plans and preparations for cookouts, pool parties, and other festivities on this last Monday of May and the unofficial start of Summer, the meaning of Memorial Day means far more than the sun and fun that most associate with celebrating the three-day weekend.

Originally known as Decoration Day, Memorial Day originated in the years following the Civil War, but didn’t become an official federal holiday until 1971. While Waterloo, New York takes the credit as the birthplace of our Memorial Day celebration, many historians credit the earliest organized remembrance of our fallen soldiers to formerly enslaved residents in Charleston, South Carolina in 1865. Many Americans observe Memorial Day following long-standing family traditions such as visiting cemeteries, attending memorial events or demonstrating their respect with patriotic decorations.  

Wearing a red poppy on Memorial Day is a tradition in remembering those who fell. This tradition echoes back to a poem called “In Flanders Field” written by a brigade surgeon named Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae. The poem accounts the red flowers growing in the Spring in the battle-ravaged land across northern France and Flanders (northern Belgium).

This year Memorial Day falls on May 30th. This is especially symbolic as on May 5, 1868, General John A. Logan called for a National Day of Remembrance to be held on May 30, 1868, which continued to be celebrated on May 30th for a hundred years. In 1968 Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act making Memorial Day the last Monday of May. Originally this day was in remembrance of lives given during the Civil War and has naturally become accepted to include lives laid down for our freedoms from the first World War, World War II, The Vietnam War, The Korean War and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Each year on Memorial Day a national moment of remembrance takes place at 3:00 p.m. local time. Please take this time on Memorial Day to remember and demonstrate your gratitude and reverence to the men and women who paid the ultimate price for our freedoms.

Here are some ways to celebrate this upcoming Memorial Day:

• Visit the Chattanooga National Cemetery – 1200 Bailey Avenue, Chattanooga, TN
• Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park - 3370 Lafayette Road, Fort Oglethorpe, GA
• Charles H. Coolidge Medal of Honor Heritage Center - Alexander Bonnyman Exhibit unveiling event from 5pm-7pm (this is a ticketed event –
• Third Annual 2022 Memorial Day 1M, 5K, 10K, 13.1, and 26.2
• Wear a red poppy and/or place a flower on a soldier’s grave
• Place an American flag outside your home at half staff until noon. In the afternoon, place your American flag at full staff and leave it there.
• Remember to observe a moment of silence at 3pm.

I hope everyone has a safe and reflective Memorial Day.