All around the country, different ceremonies and celebrations kick off during Memorial Day, so why spend it in Gatlinburg? We will dwell on that in a bit, but before we give you a few good reasons why you should spend it with us, maybe the most fitting question would be, what is Memorial Day? Is it just a day where 53% of Americans grill their barbecue and food? Where and when did it start? Is there a deeper meaning behind it than unofficially opening summer?
Memorial Day is one of the most misunderstood day holidays we celebrate, whether it be in Gatlinburg or anywhere else. A lot of people think of Memorial Day only as an opportunity for a cookout, barbecues, shopping, Memorial Day fireworks and an unofficial beginning of summer. In order to remember and honor the memory of the brave men and women who died serving our armed forces, they celebrate it on the last Monday of the month of May. Thousands of men and women gave up their lives and sacrificed so they can defend our freedom. And they created this day so we can thank them and their families.
But how did it all start? Well, people previously call Memorial Day as Declaration Day. In the year 1868 General John Logan declared Decoration Day to honor fallen soldiers by decorating their graves with flowers. At that time, they placed flowers on the graves of twenty thousand Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. Now it is home to four hundred thousand graves. It is one of the largest cemeteries in the world a lot of Memorial Day ceremonies take place here with a whopping attendance of around five thousand people every year.
By 1890, the state level across the nation adopted the Decoration Day and by 1971, during the crucial times of the Vietnam War; they declared it as an official federal holiday. It was first only celebrated to honor our heroes from the Civil War, but eventually, it became a holiday for all our beloved heroes who served and died in all American wars. So, in the 1880’s they already called Memorial Day but it wasn’t until 1967 that it legally officially became Memorial Day.
James Abraham Garfield gave the first Memorial Day speech, and I quote, “I am oppressed with a sense of the impropriety of uttering words on this occasion. If silence is ever golden, it must be here, beside the graves of fifteen thousand men, whose lives were more significant than speech, and whose death was a poem, the music of which can never be sung. With words, we make promises, plight faith, praise virtue. Promises may not be kept, plighted faith may be broken, and vaunted virtue be only the cunning mask of vice. We do not know one promise these men made, one pledge they gave, one word they spoke: but we do know they summed up and perfected, by one supreme act, the highest virtues of men and citizens. For love of country, they accepted death, and thus resolved all doubts, and made immortal their patriotism and their virtue.”
The red poppy is the official flower of Memorial Day. It stems from a poem entitled, “In Flanders Field” written by a Canadian whose name was Lt Col John McCrae. He was a poet, author, physician, artist and soldier during World War 1. In 1954, there was a shortage of red poppies, and so they made artificial poppy flowers in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. It actually gave jobs to veteran soldiers who were unemployed.
By the year 2000, the National Moment of Remembrance Act was passed in Congress. Eventually, we are all required to pause at around 3 o’clock in the afternoon. This is to honor those who have dedicated their lives serving our country. The one-minute period of silence is even by large companies like Greyhound, Major League Baseball, and Amtrak amongst others.
Well, yes, of course. You can celebrate Memorial Day 2019 anywhere you are, even in Gatlinburg. As you can see, it is not so much of where you are but how you honor our patriots. On Memorial Day, around 40 million of our countrymen travel miles and miles out of town. Their reason for doing this is to celebrate the Memorial Day with their family. Since it is a holiday, there is usually no work and no school for the kids. Thus, making the holiday an opportunity for us to share time with our loved ones.
Why Gatlinburg? Well, why not? Spending time with our family is one way to honor all the fallen soldiers. They died so we can enjoy our freedom. Thus, there is no better way to honor that than to share our love by spending time with those closest to us. Gatlinburg has a lot of activities during Memorial Day.
We have the Smoky Mountain Thunder Ride. This is where riders go on a 65-mile ride to commemorate and honor all the American soldiers who died and fought for us. We also have a Family Fest, which celebrates through music. You can attend and listen to Christian and inspiring music to help us remember what is truly important in life.
When we have paid tribute to our beloved soldiers, we can continue the day with lots of other amazing activities in the city of Gatlinburg with our families. We can enjoy the freedom they gave by admiring nature through wildlife encounters, exploring the Smokies, hiking, checking out waterfalls, horseback riding, go fishing and spend a day in the river or go whitewater rafting, go on ATV tours or a zip line adventure.
You can also enjoy and check out the town which is ready to help you relax and have fun through Memorial Day sales, ice skating, arcades, go to theme parks and check out Gatlinburg’s Farmers Market.
If you’re too beat to tolerate crowds, you can also chill in the comforts of your Gatlinburg cabins. You can also host a cookout with friends and family there. Staying in your cabins is already enough on their own since you’ll have an amazing view. Moreover, you’ll have all that you’ll ever need for a convenient stay. Our cabins have their own set of entertainment and relaxation amenities. These can help you bond over one of the most important days of our country. You can shoot us a message before the event every year and we can give you gatlinburg cabin rentals special deals for your Memorial Day weekend.
You don’t have to spend the Memorial Day in a single way. We can all honor our heroes in different ways. What is important is that no matter where we are, in Gatlinburg or any other place of the world, we whisper a prayer for our fallen soldiers and their families. Also, we spend time to remember everything that they’ve done to make our nation great.
Gatlinburg is one of the favorites for a lot of tourists because it’s an all in one destination. It is perfect for families who want to relax and have fun and enjoy a much-needed vacation. Gatlinburg welcomes all of you no matter the holiday. We are more than happy to celebrate this freedom we have been so generously blessed with all of you.