- the birthplace of the memorial day and the first celebrations
- decoration day
- story of memorial day
- Memorial Day traditions and rituals
- photo gallery
Memorial Day is an American holiday, celebrated on the last Monday in May, to honor the men and women who died while serving in the United States. uu. military. memorial day 2022 will take place on monday 30 may.
Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the post-Civil War years and became an official federal holiday in 1971. Many Americans celebrate Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family reunions, and participating in parades. unofficially, it marks the beginning of the summer season.
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the birthplace of the memorial day and the first celebrations
The civil war, which ended in the spring of 1865, claimed more lives than any other conflict in the united states. history and required the establishment of the first national cemeteries in the country.
By the late 1860s, Americans in various towns and cities had begun paying spring tributes to these countless fallen soldiers, decorating their graves with flowers and reciting prayers.
did you know? Each year on Memorial Day, a national moment of remembrance is held at 3:00 p.m. m. local time.
It is unclear where exactly this tradition originated; numerous different communities may have independently initiated memorial gatherings. and some records show that one of the first memorial day commemorations was organized by a group of formerly enslaved people in charleston, south carolina, less than a month after the confederacy surrendered in 1865. however, in 1966 the government Federally declared Waterloo, New York, the official birthplace of Memorial Day.
waterloo, which first celebrated the day on May 5, 1866, was chosen because it hosted an annual event for the entire community, during which businesses closed and residents decorated soldiers’ graves with flowers and flags .
read more: One of the earliest Memorial Day ceremonies was performed by formerly enslaved people
On May 5, 1868, General John A. Logan, leader of an organization for Northern Civil War veterans, called for a national day of remembrance later that month. “May 30, 1868, is designated for the purpose of scattering flowers or decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the last rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, town, and village. graveyard on earth,” he proclaimed.
The date of the award day, as he called it, was chosen because it was not the anniversary of any particular battle.
on the first day of decoration, general james garfield gave a speech at arlington national cemetery and 5,000 participants decorated the graves of the 20,000 civil war soldiers buried there.
many northern states held similar commemorative events and repeated the tradition in subsequent years; by 1890, each had made Decoration Day an official state holiday. southern states, on the other hand, continued to honor the dead on separate days until after the first world war.
memorial day story
memorial day, as the day of the award gradually came to be known, originally honored only those lost while fighting in the civil war. But during World War I, the United States was embroiled in another major conflict, and the holiday evolved to commemorate American military personnel who died in all wars, including World War II, the Vietnam War, and the Korean War. and the wars in iraq and afghanistan.
for decades, memorial day continued to be celebrated on may 30, the date general logan had selected for the first memorial day. But in 1968, Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which established Memorial Day as the last Monday in May to create a three-day weekend for federal employees. The change took effect in 1971. The same law also declared Memorial Day a federal holiday.
read more: Missing in action: how military families in tortuous limbo fueled a movement
see: flashback: memorial day – 1936
Memorial Day traditions and rituals
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 biggest parades take place in Chicago, New York, and Washington, D.C.
Americans also celebrate Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries and memorials. Some people wear a red poppy in remembrance of those who have fallen in war, a tradition that began with a poem from the First World War. On a less somber note, many people take weekend trips or host parties and barbecues on the holiday, perhaps because Memorial Day weekend, the long weekend that comprises the Saturday and Sunday before Memorial Day, and Memorial Day itself, unofficially marks the beginning of summer.
Read More: 8 Things You May Not Know About Memorial Day