Tuesday, January 4th, 2011
Observed as an important Federal Holiday in the United States, Memorial Day falls on the last Monday of May.
Memorial Day was formerly celebrated as Decoration Day to honor the US soldiers who were martyred during military service. Initially this day was observed to remember the brave soldiers of the union who laid their lives for the period of the American Civil War. Post World War I this day was chosen to remember and honor all American Soldiers who have died for the country. This day also signal the beginning of summer vacation season. You get all list of national days by website
People started celebrating Memorial Day as a ritual to remember the people who laid down their lives during the Civil War. Later by early 20th century it became the day for people to remember and honor their dead whether or not they were in military service. This day also became an occasion to meet friends and relatives, a visit to the beach, shopping and display of fireworks.
“Decoration” day was changed gradually to Memorial Day, and this name was first used in 1982. After World War II the name became more common and was officially declared by Federal Law after 1967. On June 28, 1968, after the Uniform Holidays Bill got approval by the Congress and three public holidays were moved to Monday in order to create a long three day weekend. Other national days moved were Washington’s Birthday and Veteran Day.
To merely create a three-day weekend has weakened the significance of the day. This has largely contributed to the casual approach of the people towards these national days. There were many states that pressed for the return of the Memorial Day to its original date. After some resistance and hesitation to abide with, the change was adopted by all the 50 states. Memorial Day is observed by most businesses and this holiday also announces the beginning of the summer. The same practice is held in Canada in case of Victoria Day, that either occurs on 24th May or the last Monday.
Memorial Day is observed traditionally by people visiting memorials and cemeteries. A 3 PM local time a remembrance takes placed all over the nation. When Did Memorial Day Become a National Holiday? Flying the US Colors half mast from noon to sunset is another tradition. American flags are also placed on graves at National Cemeteries.
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