Memorial Day is an American holiday observed on the last Monday of May. It honors men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military.
Memorial Day started as an event to honor Union soldiers who had died during the American Civil War. It was inspired by the way people in the Southern states honored their dead. After World War I, it was extended to include all men and women who died in any war or military action.
Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day. The current name for this day did not come into use until after World War II. Decoration Day and then Memorial Day used to be held on May 30, regardless of the day of the week, on which it fell. In 1968, the Uniform Holidays Bill was passed as part of a move to use federal holidays to create three-day weekends. This meant that that, from 1971, Memorial Day holiday has been officially observed on the last Monday in May.
Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and participating in parades. Unofficially, at least, it marks the beginning of summer.” (Source: history.com/topics/holidays/memorial-day-history)
Memorial Day Traditions
“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 Chicago, New York and Washington, D.C. Americans also observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries and memorials. On a less somber note, many people throw parties and barbecues on the holiday, perhaps because it unofficially marks the beginning of summer.”
Each year on Memorial Day a national moment of remembrance takes place at 3:00 p.m. local time. Please take a moment to remember a soldier who served and gave his/her life.
And, on Memorial Day, thank a current soldier, police officer, firefighter for serving.
Have a safe Memorial Day!