The History Of Memorial Day

Originally called “Decoration Day,” in the primitive Tradition of decorating graves with flowers, crowns and flags, Memorial Day is a day to remember those who have died in the service of our country. The History Of Memorial Day.

The History Of Memorial Day
Men At Service!

Throughout that first National commemoration, the former Union General and sitting Ohio Congressman James Garfield delivered a speech at Arlington National Cemetery. After which 5,000 participants helped decorate the graves of the more than 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers who were buried there.

This event was Inspired by local celebrations of the day which had taken place in several American cities in the three years following the Civil War.

Back in 1873, New York was the first state to designate Memorial Day as a legal holiday.

From the late 1800s, many more communities and cities detected Memorial Day and several states declared it a legal holiday. After World War I, it became an occasion to honor those who died in all America’s wars and then became more widely established as a national holiday across the USA.

“We do not know a promise these men made, a promise they gave, a word they spoke; but we do know that they summed up and perfected, by a single supreme act, the highest virtues of men and citizens. For love of the country they accepted death, and thus resolved all doubts, and made their patriotism and virtue immortal.

James A. Garfield
May 30, 1868 Arlington National Cemetery

When Is Memorial Day?

The History Of Memorial Day

Back in 1971, Congress Passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act and recognized that Memorial Day ought to be commemorated on the last Monday in May.

Many southern states, however, formally commemorate an additional additional day to honor the Confederate war dead. Occasionally called Confederate Memorial Day:

  • January 19 in Texas.
  • Third Monday in January at Arkansas.
  • Fourth Monday in April in Alabama and Mississippi.
  • April 26 at Florida and Georgia.
  • May 10 in North and South Carolina.
  • The last Monday in May in Virginia.
  • June 3 in Louisiana and Tennessee.

Memorial Day is Commemorated at Arlington National Cemetery each year with a ceremony. Where a little U.S. flag is placed on each grave.

Traditionally, The President or Vice President puts a floral offering in the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. About 5,000 people attend the ceremony annually.

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