Memorial Day is a Very Special Day
Many people look forward to Memorial Day as a three-day weekend; a time to go on a nice mini-vacation; a time to look for special buys at our favorite store. Memorial Day is much more than this. It is actually a very solemn day of remembrance. This is a day to remember everyone who has died while serving in the American armed forces.
Memorial Day Started as Decoration Day
The holiday started after the Civil War. It was intended to honor the Union and Confederate dead. It was originally named Decoration Day. It has never been determined where the holiday was created. Following the Civil War celebrations were held in a few places and they differentiated, not surprisingly, in the North and the south. Following world War II the holiday gained a strong following as well as a national identity. It wasn’t until 1967 that it received the official name, Memorial Day.
The following year Congress passed the Uniform Holiday Act. This designated Memorial Day as the last Monday in May (previously it had always been celebrated on May 30). Today people spend the day in a variety of ways. Some groups go to cemeteries and put an American flag on the grave of each person who served in the armed forces. Many cities hold parades to honor veterans. It is also a day for families to join together – bbq’s and picnics are very popular family celebrations.
In 2000, Congress passed the National Moment of Remembrance Act. This act requests people to stop and remember at 3:00 pm. This is a special time when people can give thanks to the men and women who fought for our freedom.