Memorial Day

Click here to see it large.

What it is:

Three photos, each measuring 2.5 x 3.5 inches.  Remains of black album paper glued to the backs.

What I know about it:

Written on the back of the left-hand one is Boulder Colo.  Otherwise undated and unidentified, though some of these people also appear in these photos.


As I was thinking about what to post today, I started to wonder about Memorial Day, and why we have a Memorial Day and a Veterans Day, realizing how much I had taken their existence for granted.  Without meaning any disrespect to those who have served, I wondered why it was considered necessary to have two Federal holidays for what seemed essentially the same thing.  So I looked into it a bit.  I guess Memorial Day is intended specifically to commemorate fallen soldiers, while Veterans Day is to honor the larger category of all who have served.  Memorial Day arose from the Civil War, and was originally called Decoration Day, the day people decorated the graves of those killed.  Veterans Day, originally called Armistice Day, came about to celebrate the end of World War One.  The meanings, it seems, have become a bit blurred over time, but the days hold no less resonance for many.  As for these photos, the clue of Boulder, Colorado, was all I needed to find this location, and it turns out to be appropriate to the Civil War origins of Memorial Day.  It is a memorial to fallen Union soldiers of the Civil War, erected in 1914 on the grounds of the Boulder County Courthouse.  This site has additional photos, in which you can see that the monument is topped with an imposing statue of a soldier.  (The site says it is a “generic soldier”, while a website of the Smithsonian Institution specifically identifies the soldier as Nathaniel Lyon.  Ah, the minor hazards of internet research.)  You can also see the beautiful art deco courthouse behind it.  Interestingly, the monument is 20 years older than the courthouse it stands in front of, since the courthouse was built in 1934, replacing the previous one which burned down in 1932.  As for the people posing here, I wonder if any of the soldiers from the previous post are on their minds at this memorial.

4 comments on “Memorial Day”

  1. Hi Matt, I don’t live far from Boulder but didn’t know this was there. Thanks.

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