May 30, 2021 | Susan Napier-Sewell

Memorial Day: In Memory of Those Who Served and Sacrificed

Memorial Day 2021

You may wonder, How did Memorial Day begin?

An American holiday, the observation of Memorial Day falls on the final Monday in the month of May. The observance pays tribute to the men and women who have died during their service in the U.S. military.

Originally, “Decoration Day” was an often-used label for today’s Memorial Day — to mark the fallen from the Civil War

General John A. Logan, leader of an organization for Northern Civil War veterans, on May 5, 1868, called for a national day of remembrance to occur later in May. His proclamation was: “The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land.”

General Logan called the day of paying tribute to the soldiers fallen while in service “Decoration Day.” He chose the May date as it did not correspond to any battle date.

As America entered World War I (WWI) and encountered the major loss of soldiers’ lives in WWI and wars beyond, the observance of Memorial Day was broadened to encompass all American military personnel fallen in major conflicts.

In 1968, the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, passed by Congress, proclaimed the observation of Memorial Day to occur on the last Monday in May, and was actualized in 1971.

Many Americans mark the day and pay respect to the fallen military personnel by decorating graves of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice

In modern times, families and friends often hold gatherings to observe Memorial Day and many cities and towns across our country pay respect through parades, music, memorials.

It is an annual tradition on Memorial Day for the nation collectively to mark the remembrance of fallen military personnel at 3:00 p.m. (as it falls in each time zone).

“There is nothing nobler than risking your life for your country.”

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