Last Updated on March 5, 2023
Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States that is observed on the last Monday of May each year. It is a day of remembrance and honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Originally known as Decoration Day, Memorial Day began after the Civil War to commemorate the Union and Confederate soldiers who died in the conflict. Today, people across the country visit cemeteries and memorials and participate in parades and other ceremonies to honor the sacrifices made by those who served our country.
History of the Memorial Day
In the year 1865, the Civil War ended in spring, and more than 620,000 soldiers died in the conflict of four years. Gen. John A. Logan of Grand Army of an organization of the Union veterans, called Republic, had selected May 30th, 1868, to pay tribute to the ones fallen.
He had chosen this day since the flowers would be in all bloom across the country. By the end of the 19th century, Memorial Day ceremonies started to be held on the 30th of May all across the nation. States had passed proclamations, and both the army and the navy adopted rules to observe their facilities properly.
The crowd that attended the first Memorial Day ceremony at the Arlington National Cemetery was about the same size as the one who attended even today, which is around 5000 people. Even then, as today, small American flags had been placed on every grave, a tradition that has been followed at several national cemeteries. Also, in recent years, this custom has grown in several families in which they decorate the graves of their loved ones that have departed.
By the year 1890, every northern state made Decoration Day an official holiday. However, it was not the case for the southern states since they continued to honor their people on different days until after World War I got over.
30th of May held on for several decades. However, in the year 1968, Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. This is what established Memorial Day as the last Monday in the month of May for creating a three-day weekend for all the federal employees. This change occurred in 1971, and the same law declared Memorial Day a federal holiday.
Ways to decorate for the Memorial Day
You can adorn your loved ones and your home for Memorial Day in many ways. Below are a few patriotic ideas you can look forward to—the deceased veterans, like several mini flags in your front lawn or entryway.
- Unfurl the flags. People often tend to store their American flags and raise them only when there is a patriotic holiday. Well, this is surely one of those days.
- Line the walkway with several mini flags. Nothing would honor
- Make a red, white, and blue colored layered cake. Or you can get one too. It is a fun decoration that you can eat as well!
- Wear stars and stripes windsocks, or even hang them as decorations. They are fun, festive, and also patriotic.
- Even when you have not lost a loved one who has served in the military, you can honor the fallen ones with flowers at home. Red, blue, and navy dahlias and white rose flowers can make an amazing visual.
When is Memorial Day?
Other Days Celebrated in May
- International Hummus Day
- National Buttermilk Biscuit Day
- National Limerick Day
- National Brisket Day
- National Wine Day