Today we honor the lives of fallen United States military personnel who served completely, giving it all for our freedom. Memorial Day was first recognized nationally in 1868 but the roots go even further back to a day first commemorated on April 25, 1866. As the story goes, a group of women from Columbus, Mississippi arrived at Friendship Cemetery, as part of a movement being launched called Decoration Day. The event entailed placing flowers on the graves of soldiers who fought in the Civil War. The women decided to take a stand and not only honor confederate soldiers but all, including the 40 union soldiers who were buried there. After all, the soldiers were somebody’s son, brother, husband, father and or friend. And while they may have been fighting on divided sides, they were all united in death together there. The event garnered national attention inspiring Francis Miles Finch to write the poem entitled The Blue and The Gray in 1867. Below find the audio segment of poem and story (1 minute).