A Gallery of Antique Memorial Day Postcards

Antique Memorial Day postcards are among the most evocative piece of vintage ephemera you can collect. With their elegant imagery mixing both patriotism and remembrance of those who died in service of this country, they are almost uniformly somber but almost uplifting at the same time.

The postcards on display here mostly date from the first few decades of the 20th century, when the holiday was more often known as Decoration Day. That’s due to its roots as a day to decorate the graves of fallen Civil War soldiers. Not coincidentally, these cards are heavy on the Civil War imagery.

Antique vintage Memorial Day (Decoration Day) postcard
One of the few cards of its era to recognize soldiers from the pre-Civil War period.
Antique vintage Memorial Day (Decoration Day) postcard
“GAR” is for Grand Army of the Republic.
Antique vintage Memorial Day (Decoration Day) postcard
“There honor comes, a pilgrim gray, to bless the turf that wraps their clay.”
Antique vintage Memorial Day (Decoration Day) postcard
“They fought like heroes, long and well, and then like heroes died.”
Antique vintage Memorial Day (Decoration Day) postcard
“May the wreaths they have won never wither nor the star of their glory grow dim.”
Antique vintage Memorial Day (Decoration Day) postcard
My favorite.
Antique vintage Memorial Day (Decoration Day) postcard
An unfortunate misspelling.
Antique vintage Memorial Day (Decoration Day) postcard
Celebrating the USS Monitor.

Antique vintage Memorial Day (Decoration Day) postcard

Antique vintage Memorial Day (Decoration Day) postcard