Memorial Day

Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day. It is a federal holiday in the United States for mourning the U.S. military personnel who have died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. It is recognized and observed on the last Monday of May. From 1868 to 1970 it was observed on May 30.

Many people visit cemeteries and memorials on this day to honor and mourn those who died while serving in the U.S. military. Many people place a U.S. flag on graves of military personnel. Some consider Memorial Day as the unofficial start of summer.

It was in 1868 that General John A. Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic called for a “Decoration Day”. By 1890, every Northern state had adopted it as a holiday. The World Wars turned it into a day of remembrance. In 1971, Congress standardized the holiday as “Memorial Day” and changed its observance to the last Monday in May.

Two other days celebrate those who have served or are serving in the U.S. military: Armed Forces Day which is earlier in May and Veterans Day on November 11.