It‘s time for a History lesson!
For many Americans Memorial Day is the beginning of Summer with BBQ’s and camping trips, and a vague idea of something being celebrated because it is a national holiday. So, what are we celebrating and how did it begin? It is an occasion to honor the men and women who died in all wars that America has participated in.
The holiday was first observed on May 30, 1868, when Union General John A. Logan declared the day an occasion to decorate the graves of Civil War soldiers. Twenty years later, the name was changed to Memorial Day. On May 11, 1950, Congress passed a resolution requesting that the President issue a proclamation calling on Americans to observe each Memorial Day as a day of prayer for permanent peace and designating a period on that day when the people of the United States might unite in prayer. President Richard M. Nixon declared Memorial Day a federal holiday in 1971. Memorial Day is now observed on the last Monday of May.
How should it be observed?
It is customary to mark Memorial Day by visiting graveyards and war monuments. One of the biggest Memorial Day traditions is for the President or Vice President to give a speech and lay a wreath on soldiers’ graves in the largest national cemetery, Arlington National Cemetery, in Virginia. Most towns have local Memorial Day celebrations. Here are some ways you can honor the men and women who serve our country:
- Put flags or flowers on the graves of men and women who served in wars.
- Fly the U.S. flag at half-staff until noon.
- Visit monuments dedicated to soldiers, sailors and marines.
- Participate in a National Moment of Remembrance at 3 p.m. local time.
- Attend a Memorial Day parade.
- If you know someone who has fought in a war or served in the military, show you appreciation by thanking them or making a card.
Source of information: http://www.timeforkids.com