Memorial Day honors US soldiers who died fighting for their country. In 1971, the US Congress declared Memorial Day to be a national holiday, to be celebrated on the last Monday of May each year. Honoring the spirit of fallen US heroes is the purpose of Memorial Day. Many people observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries and war memorials, and leaving flags, flowers, or notes on the graves of soldiers.
Technically, summer doesn’t start until June 21. But many people consider Memorial Day to be the unofficial start of the season. This year, we celebrate the holiday on May 27. Many families will heat up the grill, head to the beach or take in a big blockbuster movie. But Memorial Day has the word “memorial” in it for a reason.
Evolution 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. 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.
Memorial Day . (1970). Retrieved on May 25, 2014, from http://www.history.com/topics/holidays/memorial-day-history.
Memorial Day Crafts, Activities and Worksheets …. (1970). Retrieved on May 25, 2014, from http://www.enchantedlearning.com/crafts/memorialday/.
The Meaning of Memorial Day | TIME For Kids. (1970). Retrieved on May 25, 2014, from http://www.timeforkids.com/news/meaning-memorial-day/40391.