Memorial Day, a federal holiday celebrated on the last Monday of May, was originally called Decoration Day – a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation’s service.
It was officially proclaimed a holiday in 1868 by General John A. Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic to honor the Union and Confederate soldiers who died in the Civil War.
In his proclamation to set aside this day, General Logan instructed there to be thoughts to “…cherish tenderly the memories of our heroic dead who made their breast a barricade between our country and its foes”.
Memorial Day remains a time of observation to honor and respect those who fought to protect the liberties that our Founding Fathers proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence and that were carefully framed in the Constitution of the United States.
The Los Angeles Times’ Book section has chosen 27 books as essential to understanding the American fighters’ experience. Here are a few that may interest you.
- Fobbit by David Abrams (2012, fiction)
- The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane (1895, fiction)
- Thank You for Your Service by David Finkel (2013, nonfiction)
- The Face of War by Martha Gellhorn (1959, nonfiction)
- Paco’s Story by Larry Heinemann (1986, fiction)
- Catch-22 by Joseph Heller (1961, fiction)
- A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway (1929, fiction)