What is Memorial Day?

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An explanation of the United States holiday, Memorial Day.

Source: https://www.history.com/topics/holidays/memorial-day-history

History of Memorial Day

Memorial Day, as Decoration Day gradually came to be known, originally honored only those lost while fighting in the Civil War. But during World War I the United States found itself embroiled in another major conflict, and the holiday evolved to commemorate American military personnel who died in all wars, including World War IIThe Vietnam WarThe Korean War and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

For decades, Memorial Day continued to be observed on May 30, the date Logan had selected for the first Decoration Day. But in 1968 Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which established Memorial Day as the last Monday in May in order to create a three-day weekend for federal employees; the change went into effect in 1971. The same law also declared Memorial Day a federal holiday.

READ MORE: Missing in Action: How Military Families in Tortuous Limbo Galvanized a Movement

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 ChicagoNew York and Washington, D.C.

Americans also observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries and memorials. Some people wear a red poppy in remembrance of those fallen in war—a tradition that began with a World War I poem. On a less somber note, many people take weekend trips or throw parties and barbecues on the holiday, perhaps because Memorial Day weekend—the long weekend comprising the Saturday and Sunday before Memorial Day and Memorial Day itself—unofficially marks the beginning of summer.


My 2 cents....

While Memorial Day is a United States celebrated holiday for our service men and woman, I believe we need to recognize all those who fought for what they believed, regardless of which side they were on. These men and woman put their lives on the line to defend, protect, and/or preserve what matters to them. These men and women have families and loved ones and it's important to recognize that we are all on the same level when it comes to being human. 

CEO, Novus.One