HAPPY EASTER FROM BILLIONGRAVES!
April is an amazing month. Mother Nature is making the transition between seasons, the flowers are blooming and the warmth of summer seems like it’s just around the corner. It’s a time of year when more and more people start to venture outside, shaking off the snowflakes of winter to soak up the warm rays of spring. For many, it’s also the month that Easter is celebrated.
To celebrate this, we’re launching an April promotion that will have you outside enjoying the outdoors AND earning great prizes from BillionGraves. We’re happy to announce the BillionGraves 2014 Global Easter Egg Hunt!
Here are the details:
- Each Wednesday in April (the 2nd, 9th, 16th and 23rd) we’ll supply a clue on our Blog, Facebook Page Found here, and Instagram page Found here.
- The clue will be for a specific date (month, day AND year) of a significant moment in national or global history that you will need to find on a headstone between the Wednesday and Sunday (11:59pm) of that week.
Example: ****What day was the declaration of independence signed?****
- If you find a headstone with the special date (month, day AND year), you’ve found a BillionGraves Easter Egg!
- Take a picture and upload it to BillionGraves through the mobile application
- Copy and paste the URL into the comments section of the Blog post for that week.
Qualified submissions MUST BE NEW UPLOADS. No duplicates!
- All Easter egg finders will receive a BillionGraves pin for their participation. However, three special Easter egg finders will be randomly selected for the Golden Egg Grand Prize (worth $40 in value), the Silver Egg (worth $20) and the Bronze Egg (worth $10). Details on the Golden Egg Grand Prize for that week will be released on each Wednesday on our Blog, Facebook page and Instagram account. Be sure to follow us! HERE
- Winners will be determined on the following Monday (April 7th, 14th, 24th), with the exception of the last Golden Egg Grand Prize winner being announced on April 30th.
To qualify to win:
- The picture must be an original record to the BillionGraves database. No duplicates! Try to find cemeteries and headstones in new areas not yet touched by photographers.
- Photos must be submitted no later than the Sunday of the current week at midnight GMT. Photos can be submitted by pasting the URL of the uploaded photo into the “comments” section of the Blog post for that week.
- Photographer must have added a minimum of 100 photographs to the BillionGraves database that week to be considered in the Golden/Silver/Bronze egg drawings. The more BillionGraves Easter Eggs you find, the more entries into the Golden/Silver/Bronze egg drawing you’ll earn!
- Each week will require an additional 100 photographs to be considered a valid entry for the following week.
Q: How do I find an Easter egg?
A: Stay tuned to our Blog, Facebook Page Found Here, and Instagram Account Found here for the special clue. The special clue will be about a significant date in history (global or national). Find this date on a headstone that hasn’t been entered into the BillionGraves database and you’ve found an Easter Egg! Upload the photo, then copy and paste the image URL into the comments section of the Blog post for that week on the BillionGraves Blog.
Q: Can a transcriber find an Easter Egg?
A: This month’s promotion is for photographs only. It’s warm outside! Grab your camera/smartphone/tablet, head outside, and find a BillionGraves Easter Egg! We’ll make it worth your while! We will still offer the April Pin to the top 50 Transcribers and Photographers.
Q: Can I win a Golden/Silver/Bronze Egg more than once in April?
A: Yes, you can! The more Easter Eggs you find, the more entries you’ll have to win the Golden, Silver or Bronze Egg for that week.
Q: Does the Special Date have to be a Birth date or Death date on a headstone? What if it’s the “Married” date?
A: All we are looking for is the Special Date on any part of a headstone, grave marker or memorial. We’ll accept, Birth, Death, Military Leave or Return, or Married. If you can think of or see any other dates that could be posted on a gravestone, take a picture and let us know in the comments section of the Blog. We’d love to see them!
The Fine Print. (Cause we have to have fine print, right?)
- This promotion isn’t intended to promote any particular religious celebrative aspects of Spring and Easter, nor force upon anyone any particular type of religious beliefs. While Easter is held by many Christians as a highly religious holiday, Easter eggs and Easter egg hunts are traditions held by many different cultures, groups, faiths and families. We respect the right to celebrate in any safe and responsible way possible.
- This promotion is intended for photographers only. Sorry, transcribers. Let’s go outside!
- If you or another user marks a headstone picture as “bad” we deduct it from the uploader’s total images. And we’ll call you and make fun of you.
- Make sure you have permission and are welcome to take pictures in your local cemetery before doing so. Remember, private cemeteries require permission of the owner before taking any pictures. No one likes a trespasser! Not cool!
- This promotion is open to all to participate for free. Registration is required. (Register HERE. Come on.You know you want to. It’s free!)
- More than one individual may contribute to a single account, however, the limit is one prize redemption per BillionGraves account.
- Items will ship in 6-8 weeks after contest closes for winners in the U.S. Please allow 8-12 for winners outside the U.S. However, our shipment robots are getting faster!
- Recipients will be required to provide a mailing address for physical items.
We want to encourage all of you to head out to any military cemeteries near you and start documenting these headstones, especially this weekend! So, we are giving away $25 Amazon gift cards to the top three people who upload the most images from a U.S. Military cemetery this weekend!
Don’t know where the nearest military cemetery is? Find out here.
Let’s do something to let our military veterans know how much we appreciate everything they have done—even if it’s as simple as photographing their headstone.
-Make sure you have permission and are welcome to take pictures in the military cemetery before doing so. We recommend talking to the cemetery caretaker/sexton before taking pictures in ANY cemetery. Remember, private cemeteries require permission of the owner before taking any pictures.
-Winners will be announced at the end of the weekend (November 12) on the BillionGraves blog.
-Promotion is open to all to participate for free. Registration is required.
-More than one individual may contribute to a single account, however, the limit is one prize redemption per BillionGraves account.
-Items will ship in 2-3 weeks after contest closes for winners in the U.S.
-Recipients will be required to provide a mailing address for physical items and their choice of which gift card. Please make sure your email is up to date on your BillionGraves account. We will be emailing that address if you are one of our lucky winners!
-All images must be uploaded no later than midnight (GMT) on Monday, November 11.
As we reflect on what we are grateful for this holiday season, we realize we have a lot to be thankful for. BillionGraves has blossomed so much in this last year and we have accomplished so much! We are very dedicated to the goal of BillionGraves and are very excited to see what the next year will bring. With that being said, we know we wouldn’t have been able to do any of it without all of YOU!
So we are going to take the whole month of November to spotlight YOU–the people who have made BillionGraves what it is today!
We will be randomly spotlighting you on the blog and our social media sites (with your permission of course) as a simple way of letting you know we appreciate you. We know we could never pay you enough for all the amazing work you do, but we would at least like to give you some recognition for what you do.
So if you have a story of some success you’ve had on BillionGraves or you would like to share how you got started doing BillionGraves, contact us and let us know! We want to hear from you and to share your stories on the blog! So comment below or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
If nothing else, keep an eye on the blog this month to meet some wonderful BillionGraves contributors like yourself. And remember, we sure are grateful for EVERYTHING you do!
Below are the posts about our wonderful contributors that we spotlighted this month:
Colette Hokanson: If You Want Miracles, Take Pictures for BillionGraves!
Lyle Clugg: Paying It Forward
That’s right, Memorial Day was first proclaimed on May 5, 1868 by General John A. Logan, National commander of the Grand Army of the Republic. He called it “Decoration Day” when things like flowers should be put on the graves of both Union and Confederate soldiers. He declared it was to be celebrated on May 30 of each year.1
2. All Americans are asked to pause for a National Moment of Remembrance at 3pm on Memorial Day.
On May 2, 2000, Congress passed a resolution that asks Americans to pause “for one minute at 3:00 p.m. (local time) on Memorial Day, to remember and reflect on the sacrifices made by so many to provide freedom for all.”2 This was passed in an effort to remind Americans why we celebrate Memorial Day.
3. It is uncertain exactly where and when Memorial Day began.
As mentioned previously, John A. Logan was the first to declare a National “Decoration Day” or Memorial Day, but people began this tradition even before then. More than 5 cities have claimed to be the original beginnings of Memorial day including:
- Columbus, Georgia,
- Columbus, Miss.,
- Boalsburg, Pennsylvania,
- Carbondale, Illinois,
- and Charleston, South Carolina.3
It was in Charleston, South Carolina that on May 1, 1865 thousands of residents gathered to honor those men that had died at Planters’ Race Course—which had been converted into a Confederate prison and burial ground for more than 250 Union soldiers.4 This is one of the first Memorial Day Celebrations that we know of.
Despite the dissidence of where exactly it began, President Lyndon B. Johnson declared the original birthplace of Memorial Day to be Waterloo, NY in May 1966. And it was there that they held the “centennial observance of Memorial Day.”5
4. It is tradition to wear a red poppy on Memorial Day.
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the Crosses, row on row…
People caught on to the tradition and soon people were selling poppies to benefit war orphans in France and Belgium, or veterans of past wars. She also wrote her own poem in response to John McCrae’s:
That grows on fields where valor led,
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies.7
Today, these traditions and historical facts seems to have faded so much that we tend to see Memorial Day as just another 3-day weekend that marks the beginning of summer. But by knowing the history of Memorial day, we CAN remember why we celebrate it in the first place: to honor those who have lost their lives in service to their country and our own family members who made it possible for us to be here today.
1 “Memorial Day History.” USMemorialDay.org. <http://www.usmemorialday.org/backgrnd.html>.
2 “Speeches.” USMemorialDay.org. <http://www.usmemorialday.org/Speeches/President/may0200.txt>.
3 Robertson, Campbell. “Birthplace of Memorial Day? That Depends Where You’re From.” New York Times. 26 May 2012. <http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/27/us/many-claim-to-be-memorial-day-birthplace.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0>.
4 Fitzpatrick, Laura. “A Brief History of Memorial Day.”TIME Magazine. 24 May 2009. <http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1900454,00.html>.
5 Johnson, Lyndon B.. “242 – Proclamation 3727 – Prayer for Peace, Memorial Day, 1966.”Presidency.ucsb.edu. The American Presidency Project, 26 May 1966. <http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=27618#axzz1vzN2Ip9F>.
6 “Where did the idea to sell poppies come from?”news.bbc.co.uk. BBC News, 10 Nov 2006. Web. 24 May 2013. <http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/6133312.stm>.
7 “Memorial Day History.” USMemorialDay.org. <http://www.usmemorialday.org/backgrnd.html>.