Memorial Day is one of the American federal holidays, celebrated on the last Monday of May, to honor men and women who sacrifice their lives while serving in the U.S. military.
Although Memorial Day became a federal holiday officially in 1971, it originated in the years following the Civil War.
During the U.S. civil war, nearly 500,000 military personnel died, which makes it the deadliest war in U.S. history. Therefore, after the war ended in the spring of 1865, there was a critical necessity to establish the country’s first national cemeteries.
By the late 1860s, many towns and cities in the U.S. began observing springtime tributes to these fallen servicemen, decorating their graves with flowers and reciting prayers.
Among all the cities, Waterloo, New York was recognized as the official place of birth of Memorial Day on May 5, 1866, because it observed an annual, community-wide event during which business closed and residents adorned the graves of soldiers with flowers and flags.
Unofficially, many people see it as the beginning of the summer season.
Each year on Memorial Day, a national moment of remembrance happens at 3:00 pm local time.
Every year, Americans celebrated Memorial Day with parades incorporating military personnel and veterans. The most crowded parades occur in Chicago, New York and Washington, D.C.
People in the U.S. also celebrate Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries and memorials.
On the other hand, many people take weekend trips or throw parties and barbecues on holiday maybe because it marks the beginning of summer.
To observe Memorial Day, Standard Restaurant Supply will have a significant discount on a large selection of item during the week May 20 – May 25.
On May 5, 1868, a leader of a Northern Civil War veterans organization General John A. Logan, asked for a national day of remembrance later that month.
The date of Decoration Day as he named it, was chosen on May 30 because it was not the commemoration of any particular battle.
On the first Decoration Day, was held at Arlington National Cemetery, where General James Garfield gave a speech in front of 5,000 participants who adorned the graves of the 20,000 union and Confederate soldiers buried there.
Many Northern states celebrated similar anniversary events and repeated the tradition in the following years. By 1890, all these states had made Decoration Day an official state holiday.
Southern states, on the other hand, continued honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I.