What is Memorial Day? The history and the significance of Memorial Day

What is Memorial Day all about? The history and the significance of Memorial Day.

What is Memorial Day?

Memorial Day; is a holiday observed in most states of the United States either on the last monday in May or on May 30. It is also called Decoration Day. After the Civil War, families in the South began decorating the graves of both Southern and Northern soldiers with spring flowers. Hearing of this, Gen. John A. Logan, then head of the Grand Army of the Republic, on May 5, 1868, issued an order appointing May 30 of that year “for the purpose of strewing with flowers the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion.”

Memorial Day became a legal holiday in most states and was usually celebrated on May 30. In 1971 the holiday for federal employees was changed to the last Monday in May, and most of the states adopted the change.

Since World War I, Memorial Day has commemorated the dead of all wars. Additionally, it serves unofficially as a day for decorating the graves of all those dead who are remembered and mourned. This broader meaning makes it similar to holidays memorializing the dead in many other countries and cultures. In the United States, Memorial Day is often officially observed with parades of troops and veterans to cemeteries, the firing of rifles over graves of military dead, and the playing of Taps on the bugle.

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