Memorial Day in United States

Memorial Day

What is Memorial Day?

Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States that honors American military heroes who have lost their lives while defending their country and serving in the armed forces. From 1868 to 1970, the USA observed this day on May 30, but now they commemorate Memorial Day on the last Monday of May.

Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day due to the early practice of decorating graves with flowers, wreaths, and flags.

On Memorial Day, many people visit cemeteries and memorials to remember and grieve those who fought and died while serving in the United States military. Many volunteers raise American flags on military personnel's graves in national cemeteries. In the United States, Memorial Day is also regarded as the unofficial start of summer.

Memorial Day - All Quick Review

  • Time/Date: Last Monday of May every year
  • Category: Federal
  • Where It’s Marked: USA
  • Why It’s Marked:  Memorial Day commemorates American military personnel who died while defending their country.

History of Memorial Day

During the American Civil War, which lasted from 1861 to 1865, about 620,000 men lost their lives in the line of duty. Throughout those years, many citizens in the community started to place flowers on the war dead's graves. Although several Northern and Southern cities claim to be the originators of Memorial Day, President Lyndon B. Johnson declared Waterloo, New York, as its official birthplace in 1966.

Henry Welles, a pharmacist from Waterloo, proposed in 1865 that the town legally set aside a day to remember those who died in the war. The first official commemoration of a day set aside to remember war dead was held in Waterloo the following year.

The concept was expanded upon in 1868 by John A. Logan, a former Civil War commander and founder of a group of war veterans, who proposed May 30 as an annual occasion to commemorate the enormous number of people who lost their lives during the upheaval of the split nation. Logan is said to choose May 30 as Decoration Day because flowers would bloom all over the country then.

By the turn of the century, almost every state had made "Decoration Day" an official holiday. After World War I, Decoration Day was expanded to commemorate those lost in the country's wars. And this day became known as Memorial Day after World War II.

Countries that Observe Memorial Day

The celebration we know as Memorial Day is only observed in the United States. However, other countries also commemorate a day of remembrance to pay tribute to their military personnel who have died in battle. And those countries have their dates to honor their heroes.

Many people in the United States observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials. Different cities and towns across the country host grand parades on Memorial Day. Some citizens wear or hold crimson poppies to honor those who have died in battle. This tradition dates back to World War I.

How to Celebrate Memorial Day?

Memorial Day is an important day for all of us, serving as a reminder to remember those who have fought for and served this incredible country we call home. So here are some thoughtful ways to honor America's soldiers who never returned to their homes.

1. Fly the Flag

Place Old Glory in your front yard to demonstrate your admiration for the United States. However, be sure you are adhering to the correct protocol and rules while hoisting the flag.

2. Visit your local cemetery

You should take advantage of a Memorial Day cemetery visit just because you live far from Arlington National Cemetery. You can volunteer to decorate graves with flowers and flags at a municipal or military cemetery. Alternatively, you can stop by to pay your respects to our country's heroes.

3. Attend a Memorial Day parade

Participate in the local parades arranged by veterans or regional organizations and make the most of the day.

4. Take a moment of silence

Observe a moment of silence for The National Moment of Remembrance at 3 p.m. local time. Send your gratitude, love, and prayers for at least one minute to veterans, active duty personnel, and the numerous men and women who lost their lives while defending our nation.

5. Shop at a veteran-owned business

On Memorial Day, if you're going to eat out or shop, think about supporting businesses run by veterans or members of the armed forces. Including anything from hardware stores to gourmet dining, you can find many veteran-owned businesses.

Interesting Facts About Memorial Day

If you want to know more about Memorial Day, we will present some interesting facts about this ceremony. 

  • This day was first observed as Decoration Day, so named because the graves of fallen soldiers were decorated. But the name gradually changed, and in 1967, it was officially named Memorial Day.
  • Memorial Day was established due to the custom of placing flowers and flags on soldiers' graves. The grave decoration was trendy during the Civil War, and some areas set aside a day of the year for it.
  • Before 1968, Memorial Day was not a recognized holiday. General John A. Logan, the leader of a group of Union soldiers, declared Memorial Day a national public holiday in 1868.
  • There is a special flag protocol on Memorial Day. It is to salute all of those who have served. It is a remembrance of the people who have fallen in the line of duty. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs guideline, on Memorial day, anyone flying a flag in the morning at sunrise should hoist it quickly to full staff before lowering it gradually to half-staff. Then the flag should be swiftly raised to full staff at noon.
  • On Memorial Day, there is a Moment of Remembrance at 3 p.m. In 2000, Congress approved the National Moment of Remembrance Act to urge Americans to pause and honor fallen military personnel at 3 p.m.
  • From 1868 to 1970, Memorial Day was observed on May 30 rather than the last Monday of May as it is now.
  • The Uniform Monday Holiday Act of 1968 shifted Memorial Day and four other holidays to Mondays to provide the three-day weekends we all know and enjoy. Some veterans' organizations and officials oppose the idea, claiming it lessens the holiday's significance.
  • Memorial Day is said to have originated in Waterloo, New York.
  • James A. Garfield gave a lengthy speech at the first Memorial Day celebration.

Unique Memorial Day Celebration Ideas

If you are looking for some more ideas to observe Memorial Day, go through the following list.

  • You can assist in building a veteran’s home.
  • Watch a movie on patriotism or listen to veterans’ stories.
  • Send letters to soldiers and their families.
  • Craft your own Memorial Day poppy.
  • Learn how to play a patriotic song.
  • Donate to trusted military organizations and nonprofits.

Memorial Day Quotes

Saying thank you is the least we can do to mourn the demise of our military heroes. You can honor the sacrifice of our brave fallen with these beautiful quotes that remind us of the true meaning of patriotism.

“Our flag does not fly because the wind moves it. It flies with the last breath of each soldier who died protecting it.” – Unknown

“It doesn't take a hero to order men into battle. It takes a hero to be one of those men who goes into battle.” – Norman Schwarzkopf

“America without her soldiers would be like God without His angels.” – Claudia Pemberton

“I believe our flag is more than just cloth and ink. It is a universally recognized symbol that stands for liberty and freedom. It is the history of our nation, and it’s marked by the blood of those who died defending it.” – John Thune

“There is nothing nobler than risking your life for your country.” – Nick Lampson

"May we never forget our fallen comrades. Freedom isn't free." – Sgt. Major Bill Paxton

"Our nation owes a debt to its fallen heroes that we can never fully repay." – Barak Obama


1. Are Veterans Day and Memorial Day the same?

No. Memorial Day is a federal day that honors military veterans who died while serving their country, mainly those who died in battle or as a result of battle-related injuries. On the other hand, Veterans Day recognizes everyone who has served in the military, whether they served during a war or died in battle.

2. On Memorial Day, what flower is traditionally worn?

In the United States, poppies are only worn on Memorial Day to honor the thousands of men and women who perished fighting for our country.

3. What is the National Moment of Remembrance?

A statute mandating a moment of silence for all Americans on Memorial Day at precisely 3 p.m. local time was signed by President Clinton in 2000.

Memorial Day Observances

Year Weekday Date Name Holiday Type
2022 Mon 30 May Memorial Day Public
2023 Mon 29 May Memorial Day Public
2024 Mon 27 May Memorial Day Public
2025 Mon 26 May Memorial Day Public
2026 Mon 25 May Memorial Day Public

We constantly update the dates of holidays that keep changing every year. However, while we revise and change some dates to be accurate, if you find any errors, kindly inform us . That will mean a lot to us.

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