The Celebration of Memorial Day

The Celebration of Memorial Day

Nick Huffman

This year, Memorial Day takes place on Monday, May 25. Memorial Day is a federal Holiday in the United States for honoring and mourning the military personnel who had died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. 

What is Memorial Day?

Memorial Day is an American holiday, observed on the last Monday of May, honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Memorial Day 2020 occurs on Monday, May 25. Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official holiday in 1971. Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and participating, or observing, parades. Unofficially, it marks the beginning of the summer season. 

Early Observations of Memorial Day

The Civil War, which ended in the spring of 1865, claimed more lives than any conflict in U.S. history and required the establishment of the country’s first national cemeteries.By the late 1860s, Americans in various towns and cities had begun holding springtime tributes to these countless fallen soldiers, decorating their graves with flowers and reciting prayers. It is unclear where exactly this tradition originated; numerous different communities may have independently initiated the memorial gatherings. And some records show that one of the earliest Memorial Day commemorations was organized by a group of freed slaves in Charleston, South Carolina less than a month after the Confederacy surrendered in 1865. Nevertheless, in 1966 the federal government declared Waterloo, New York, the official birthplace of Memorial Day.

Memorial Day is an exciting holiday that honors Americans who fought for our country and still continues to do so.