The History of Memorial Day

The History of Memorial Day

HISTORY.COM | APRIL 20, 2023 | Memorial Day | Shield Insurance Agency | Start A Quote Today!

The Birthplace of Memorial Day and Early Observances

The Civil War, which ended in the spring of 1865, claimed more lives than any conflict
in U.S. history and required the establishment of the country’s first national

By the late 1860s, Americans in various towns and cities had begun holding
springtime tributes to these countless fallen soldiers, decorating their graves with
flowers and reciting prayers.

It is unclear where exactly this tradition originated; numerous different communities
may have independently initiated the memorial gatherings. And some records show
that one of the earliest Memorial Day commemorations was organized by a group of
formerly enslaved people in Charleston, South Carolina less than a month after the
Confederacy surrendered in 1865. Nevertheless, in 1966 the federal government
declared Waterloo, New York, the official birthplace of Memorial Day.

Waterloo—which first celebrated the day on May 5, 1866—was chosen because it
hosted an annual, community-wide event, during which businesses closed and
residents decorated the graves of soldiers with flowers and flags.

Did you know? Each year on Memorial Day a national moment of remembrance takes place at 3:00 p.m. local time.

Decoration Day

On May 5, 1868, General John A. Logan, leader of an organization for Northern Civil War veterans, called for a nationwide day of remembrance later that month. “The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land,” he proclaimed.

The date of Decoration Day, as he called it, was chosen because it wasn’t the anniversary of any particular battle.

On the first Decoration Day, General James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery, and 5,000 participants decorated the graves of the 20,000 Civil War soldiers buried there.

Many Northern states held similar commemorative events and reprised the tradition in subsequent years; by 1890 each one had made Decoration Day an official state holiday. Southern states, on the other hand, continued to honor the dead on separate days until after World War I.

History of Memorial Day

Memorial Day, as Decoration Day gradually came to be known, originally honored only those lost while fighting in the Civil War. But during World War I the United States found itself embroiled in another major conflict, and the holiday evolved to commemorate American military personnel who died in all wars, including World War IIThe Vietnam WarThe Korean War and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

For decades, Memorial Day continued to be observed on May 30, the date General Logan had selected for the first Decoration Day. But in 1968, Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which established Memorial Day as the last Monday in May in order to create a three-day weekend for federal employees. The change went into effect in 1971. The same law also declared Memorial Day a federal holiday.

Memorial Day Traditions and Rituals 

Cities and towns across the United States host Memorial Day parades each year, often incorporating military personnel and members of veterans’ organizations. Some of the largest parades take place in ChicagoNew York and Washington, D.C.

Americans also observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries and memorials. Some people wear a red poppy in remembrance of those fallen in war—a tradition that began with a World War I poem. On a less somber note, many people take weekend trips or throw parties and barbecues on the holiday, perhaps because Memorial Day weekend—the long weekend comprising the Saturday and Sunday before Memorial Day and Memorial Day itself—unofficially marks the beginning of summer.

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February is Black History Month

February is Black History Month | NOV 30, 2022 | Black History | Get a free quote today! | Shield Insurance

Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing their central role in U.S. history. Also known as African American History Month, the event grew out of “Negro History Week,” the brainchild of noted historian Carter G. Woodson and other prominent African Americans. Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month. Other countries around the world, including Canada and the United Kingdom, also devote a month to celebrating Black history.

Origins of Black History Month

The story of Black History Month begins in 1915, half a century after the Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery in the United States.

That September, the Harvard-trained historian Carter G. Woodson, and the prominent minister Jesse E. Moorland founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH), an organization dedicated to researching and promoting achievements by Black Americans and other peoples of African descent.

Known today as the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), the group sponsored a national Negro History week in 1926, choosing the second week of February to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. The event inspired schools and communities nationwide to organize local celebrations, establish history clubs, and host performances and lectures.

Did you know? The NAACP was founded on February 12, 1909, the centennial anniversary of the birth of Abraham Lincoln.

In the decades that followed, mayors of cities across the country began issuing yearly proclamations recognizing “Negro History Week.” By the late 1960s, thanks in part to the civil rights movement and a growing awareness of Black identity, “Negro History Week” had evolved into Black History Month on many college campuses.

President Gerald Ford officially recognized Black History Month in 1976, calling upon the public to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” Today, Black History Month is a time to honor the contributions and legacy of African Americans across U.S. history and society—from activists and civil rights pioneers such as Harriet TubmanSojourner TruthMarcus GarveyMartin Luther King Jr.Malcolm X and Rosa Parks to leaders in industry, politics, science, culture and more. 

Black History Month 2023 Theme

Since 1976, every American president has designated February as Black History Month and endorsed a specific theme.

The Black History Month 2023 theme, “Black Resistance,” explores how “African Americans have resisted historic and ongoing oppression, in all forms, especially the racial terrorism of lynching, racial pogroms and police killings,” since the nation’s earliest days. 

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Not Sure What to Wear on Halloween? Google Just Ranked the Most Popular Costumes of 2022

Not Sure What to Wear on Halloween?

Not Sure What to Wear on Halloween? Google Just Ranked the Most Popular Costumes of 2022

Expect to see a few familiar scary faces (and some pop culture favorites!) on Halloween, October 31. | By Nashia Baker | October 18, 2022

If you’re like Martha, dressing up for Halloween is probably one of your favorite parts of the spooky holiday. And on October 31, you certainly won’t be alone: Your neighborhood’s streets will be filled with trick-or-treaters (and their parents!) in costumes fit for the occasion.

When you do step out in character this year, you might notice a few recurring themes. According to Google Trends’ 2022 FrightGeist report, which highlighted the most-searched Halloween costumes across the United States, a few familiar monsters will prowl the streets, candy baskets in hand—but there will likely be some creative pop-culture references and beloved superheroes, too. As for the look you’ll see in droves on Halloween night? Google users searched most for a witch costume.

The runner-up spot was claimed by a famed movie and TV character: Spider-Man was the second most-searched costume. Rounding out the top three is an ancient, extinct creature that, on any other night, exists in fossil form only: Halloween enthusiasts plan to don plenty of dinosaur costumes in 2022.

Related: 15 Last-Minute Costume Ideas for Halloween

Creatures of the past and champions of the present aren’t the only costume themes that have captured trick-or-treaters’ interests this year: Google users are also planning on dressing up as characters from Netflix’s Stranger Things, which clocked in at number four (not Eleven!). And if you were considering being something more fearsome, think again. The fifth most-searched pick, a fairy, proves that ethereal and whimsical options are trending, too.

Want to see how your Halloween costume ranks on Google Trends’ list this year? Discover the 20 most-searched costumes, below—and visit FrightGeist for the full list.

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The job market is still red hot despite fears of a recession, and job seekers continue to display confidence in their ability to take up better jobs. 

Interviewing for your next job? Avoid this common mistake | Published Thu, Aug 4 2022 9:44 PM EDT | Updated Thu, Aug 4 20229:46 PM EDT |Goh Chiew Tong@CHIEWTONG_G | Job

The job market is still red hot despite fears of a recession, and job seekers continue to display confidence in their ability to take up better jobs

“I quite often get this question from my students … how do they choose from the many offers that they get?” said Olivier Sibony, a professor of strategy at HEC Paris. 

But as candidates find themselves in power, the “most likely mistake” they would make is allowing their decision-making to be influenced by one interaction, he told CNBC Make It

That’s also known the “halo effect,” which is the tendency for a positive overall impression of someone or a company to positively influence one’s opinion in other areas.

Quite often, when people are mismatched to a job, it’s because they didn’t do their homework properly … they didn’t ask the right questions.

Oliver Sibony


For example, if a job candidate’s first interaction with a company representative — which is typically a recruiter — is a positive one, the questions he or she will ask during the interview “will support that initial judgment, Sibony said. 

“To all the questions that you ask, you will find the answers satisfying and you will only ask questions that confirm your initial positive impression,” he added. 

“You will not ask the tough questions … that would actually get the answers that would make you think, ‘Maybe it’s not such a good company after all.’” 

How can you avoid picking a job that you might regret? CNBC Make It finds out.  

1. Ask the same questions

To overcome the halo effect, you should “force yourself to ask” every company the same set of questions, said Sibony, who is also an associate fellow at the University of Oxford. 

“Whether you actually ask those questions in the interview or get the information from another reliable source is a separate issue,” he added. 

“It might be much better to get the answers to your questions from Glassdoor or from people who work in the company — rather than ask the interviewer — who is very unlikely to give you a truthful answer, if you are realistic about it.”

2. Do your job research 

It’s “good practice” for everyone to have a checklist of questions or criteria they would like their job to fulfill, said Sibony. 

“Quite often, when people are mismatched to a job, it’s because they didn’t do their homework properly … they didn’t ask the right questions.”

The author of “You’re About to Make a Terrible Mistake!” recommended this process for creating a checklist: Talk to five friends who have left their jobs within months or “tell you how much they hate their job every time you meet them.” 

“Ask yourself, what could that person have done before taking the job that would have given them the information they needed to make the correct decision? What is the red flag they should have seen but didn’t look for?” 

3. Are your potential colleagues happy? 

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Financial Exploitation, Scams Have Skyrocketed Since Pandemic Began

Financial Exploitation, Scams Have Skyrocketed Since Pandemic Began

AARP | October 04, 2022 | By Christina Ianzito | Financial Exploitation

AARP report reveals that criminals are targeting older Americans at record rates. Financial Exploitation.

The financial exploitation of older adults was a serious problem before the pandemic, but it’s ballooned in the years since COVID-19 began its rapid spread in March 2020. A new report from AARP finds that the rate of such exploitation between then and now has more than doubled.

That includes a huge uptick in losses from romance scams, with perpetrators stealing more than $547 million in 2021, five times greater than the amount stolen in 2019.

And these figures probably understate the number of financial fraud incidents, which are woefully underreported: Only 1 in 44 older adult victims tell the authorities when they’ve been financially exploited, according to the report. And they’re least likely to notify authorities when they’ve been victimized by someone they know and trust — something that happens more commonly than many people may realize.

“We need more consumers to report these crimes so we can better quantify how large and impactful they are, but equally important is that we help the industry spot and stop financial exploitation before the money leaves the account,” says Jilenne Gunther, national director of AARP’s BankSafe Initiative™ and lead author on the report.

Some data suggests that family members and trusted others steal more money than strangers do, with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau estimating that family members steal more than twice as much money as strangers.

Victims are often too embarrassed to come forward, blaming themselves for the financial loss. Yet “they need to understand that these crimes can happen to anyone,” notes Kathy Stokes, AARP director of fraud prevention programs.“It’s not their fault.”

The report, which AARP developed in collaboration with NORC (an independent research and data analysis organization) at the University of Chicago, examines how criminals’ tactics have evolved over the past few years, and urges the financial industry to work even harder to thwart them.

Other increasingly common crimes include

  • Thefts from users of peer-to-peer (P2P) payment apps — the increasingly popular electronic money transfer apps such as Zelle and Venmo. P2P fraud complaints doubled during the pandemic. Your funds in these accounts are not insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and if you transmit money to the wrong person (easy to do if they have an @username handle similar to that of a legitimate person or entity) you have no way to get it back. A criminal might pose as someone’s bank, for instance, and request payment through a P2P app.
  • Smishing — phishing by text where criminals pretend to be legitimate businesses, such as banks, in order to find out personal information to perpetrate fraud or extract money directly. Smishing attempts increased 58 percent in the U.S. in 2021 (meanwhile, in the United Kingdom they increased a stunning 700 percent in the first six months of 2021 compared with the previous six months).

Why financial exploitation has flourished

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22 Kid-Friendly Pasta Recipes to Tempt Even the Pickiest Eaters

22 Kid-Friendly Pasta Recipes to Tempt Even the Pickiest Eaters

22 Kid-Friendly Pasta Recipes to Tempt Even the Pickiest Eaters | By Kelly Vaughan | Updated August 20, 2020

If you have little kids, getting them to expand their horizons at dinnertime can be a challenge. It may seem like they won’t ever want to eat anything that isn’t macaroni and cheese or chicken nuggets, but give these kid-friendly pasta recipes a try and they’re sure to be asking for more. From hearty meat sauces to plenty of colorful, seasonal vegetables served with pasta and a cheesy, creamy sauce, these recipes are sure to please.

Start with Pasta with Zucchini, Mint, and Pecorino, pictured here. It’s a delicious dish for summer and a great way to encourage eating zucchini. One of our favorite ways to convince kids to try new vegetables is by serving them with something familiar that they know and love. Take our recipe for Cheesy Asparagus Pasta, for example. The base of the dish resembles a perfect bowl of macaroni and cheese. Short pasta such as penne is tossed in a rich sauce made from whole milk, cream cheese, sharp cheddar, and grated Gruyere. But we managed to sneak in an entire bunch of asparagus, making this the perfect kid-friendly vegetable-heavy pasta dish.

Another healthy green sneaks its way into our rich Prosciutto Carbonara—spinach! Five ounces of baby spinach is mixed with warm, cooked pasta and a silky sauce until it wilts slightly. Plenty of grated Pecorino Romano cheese and salty strips of prosciutto will surely give kids good reason to dig in.

Of course, we’re also serving up classics that everyone loves like Lasagna with Meat Sauce and our Test Kitchen’s Favorite Spaghetti and Meatballs. Next time you’re wondering what to make for dinner, consider one of these kid-friendly pasta recipes.

Pasta Recipes

Prosciutto Carbonara with Spinach

2 of 22

Prosciutto Carbonara with Spinach


Enjoy this easy, cream-free version of pasta carbonara—your little ones will love it, too. Instead of spaghetti, we’re using hearty rigatoni pasta, which is the perfect vessel for holding the creamy sauce made from Pecorino Romano, eggs, and pasta water.

Baked Rigatoni with Mini Meatballs

3 of 22

Baked Rigatoni with Mini Meatballs


Here’s a genius take on pasta with meatballs that’s sure to entice your kids. Turn the meat of spicy Italian sausage into mini meatballs. Toss them with cooked rigatoni and cubed mozzarella, then bake until bubbling and golden brown.

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Shield Insurance Blog The real reasons why your ideas at work are rejected

The real reasons why your ideas at work are rejected

Ideas at Work

Worklife News | September 23, 2022 | by Steve Hemsley

There is a saying in business that ideas at work can come from anywhere.

That is certainly true, but in reality not everyone’s ideas at work are listened to.

According to Dr. Megan Seibel, a leadership development professional at Virginia Tech University in Blacksburg, Virginia, ideas can be rejected because of different cognitive styles within a team. Seibel is a global instructor in Kirton’s Adaption-Innovation Theory which is used to measure problem-solving, teamwork and creativity.

Some people are “adaptors,” who want to do things better at work and are happy operating within rules and routines. “Innovators” meanwhile seek to do things differently and feel constrained by corporate structures and procedures.

“Often a brilliant idea will not resonate with the rest of your team, or you may think you have the perfect solution but others do not agree,” said Seibel. “The way we generate ideas, utilize structure to implement our ideas and respond to rules and group norms is innate to each of us as individuals.”

Here are Seibel’s five reasons why someone’s ideas may be rejected because a team comprises adaptors and innovators.

The “style” of the idea at work 

Others find it hard to see the value of an idea if they have a different approach and style to problem-solving.

The “fit” of the idea at work compared to the norm:

The idea that has been suggested may not fit the current norm. 

Misunderstanding of what needs to change:

We may be working with others and think we understand the issue, only to realize at some point we were not all on the same page. 

The status of the idea at work originator:

Is the status of the person affecting others’ attitudes? Maybe an idea is coming from a junior employee.

An idea is from the “in-group” or “out-group”: 

In every organization there are groups of individuals with similar cognitive styles when it comes to solving problems. This consensus group may have an easier time building energy and agreement around certain ideas. It can be harder for individuals who fall outside of these groups to have their ideas understood and championed.

“In the workplace people behave in a certain way, and every idea either comes from an adaptive or an innovative person,” said Seibel. “It is important to know your own type and the chemistry of your team so you approach the right people at the right time to get good ideas to solve specific problems.”

According to research by cloud-based design software company Figma (whose product is used by employees at companies such as Spotify, Deliveroo and WorkLife parent company Digiday Media) how and when people suggest ideas at work can vary by demographic.

Some 33% of men and 47% of women have been too shy to voice an idea at work, and then somebody else suggests it. Some 60% of 25-34 year olds worry that their idea will be considered ‘terrible’ by colleagues. The company’s findings also reveal that 35% of people have their best ideas at home and 28% when talking to somebody else. Apparently people feel most creative on a Friday morning.

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Hudsonville Community Fair August 22-27, 2022 Barn #2

Find Shield Insurance at the Hudsonville Community Fair!


August 22-27, 2022

Register to WIN a Meta Quest 2 !

Agents of Shield Insurance will be in barn #2 from 10 am to 10 pm. every day of the Hudsonville Community Fair.

Stop by our booth and register to win some great prizes!

The “Biggest Little Fair in Michigan” features great fair food, rides, livestock shows, still exhibits, and the always popular grandstand events. Don’t miss the Motorcross, truck & tractor pulls and all the fun the fair has to offer.

Register to WIN the Meta Quest 2 128BG plus a carrying case!

Hudsonville Community Fair

We are also giving away dining gift cards from various local restaurants…

Register to WIN the Meta Quest2 128BG plus a carrying case! Valued at over $500!
Shield Insurance Agency at Hudsonville Fair
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DIFS Alerts Consumers to Recurring Scam and How to Avoid It

DIFS Alerts Consumers to Recurring Scam

DIFS Alerts Consumers to Recurring Scam and How to Avoid It

Media Contact: Laura Hall, (517) 290-3779, 
Consumer Hotline: 877-999-6442,


(LANSING, MICH) The Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) is reminding consumers of best practices to avoid being victimized by a recurring scam in which impostors call consumers and identify themselves as financial institutions and utility companies requesting payments or personal information.

“It is frustrating that these criminals continue to find new ways to exploit unsuspecting residents, but DIFS is committed to providing Michiganders with resources and recommendations on how to keep their personal and financial information safe from predators,” said DIFS Director Anita Fox. “Even if your phone’s caller ID displays a legitimate business’s name, you should be wary of anyone calling you asking for payment or personal information of any kind. If you think the call might be legitimate, hang up and call the number on your billing statement or other documentation from the company before giving out any information or making a payment.”

One recent version of this scam involves criminals posing as DTE Energy contacting customers first via text message and then by phone call asking them to make missed payments through a website, often using cash transfer apps such as Zelle. DTE Energy has confirmed that it will never contact customers through text messaging. If you are unsure about a caller claiming to be a DTE employee, the utility recommends that you hang up and call their customer service line at 800-477-4747.

Here are the most important steps that consumers can take to avoid falling prey to these recurring scams:

  • NEVER give personal or account information to anyone calling YOU, even if the caller says that it is for “verification purposes.” Personal information or identity verifying information should be provided only to organizations or companies that you have called or initiated contact with.
  • If the person contacting you says that there is a problem that must be resolved immediately, hang up and call the phone number that you know will get you to someone who can be trusted with personal or account information. This could be the phone number on your debit or credit card, account statement, or on mailed correspondence from the company. Do NOT call phone numbers provided in text messages or voicemails by the person contacting you, and never reply to an unsolicited text message.
  • Use multifactor authentication measures in addition to a password to log into accounts, such as a security code sent via text message or email. Do NOT provide this security code to anyone under any circumstances. Other multifactor authentication measures can include a scan of your fingerprint, retina, or face on a mobile device or a passcode via an authentication app.

Individuals who believe they are a victim of fraud should first contact their financial institution or the company that the compromised account is with to attempt to resolve the issue. If you feel the company did not appropriately handle your complaint, contact DIFS by calling 877-999-6442, Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or by completing an online complaint form.

The mission of the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services is to ensure access to safe and secure insurance and financial services fundamental for the opportunity, security, and success of Michigan residents while fostering economic growth and sustainability in both industries. In addition, the Department provides consumer protection, outreach, and financial literacy and education services to Michigan residents. For more information, visit or follow the Department on FacebookTwitter, or LinkedIn.


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Grand Rapids, MI Voted 16th Best Place to Live

US News Reports | By Anna Gustafson

Grand Rapids, Michigan Overall Score 6.6/10

What’s it like to live in Grand Rapids, MI?

Grand Rapids has an affinity for public art, and its craft brewery scene is one of the best in the nation. A scenic spot perched on the Grand River – Michigan’s longest waterway – Grand Rapids has evolved from its 19th-century roots as a hub of furniture production to the modern-day metro area that is attracting college students and young families with its healthy job market, affordable housing and outdoor recreational activities.


U.S. News analyzed 150 metro areas in the United States to find the best places to live based on the quality of life and the job market in each metro area, as well as the value of living there and people’s desire to live there.

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