Believe it or not, Memorial Day has been celebrated since the days after the Civil War! Back then it was called Decoration Day because people would go and decorate the graves of fallen soldiers. It began as a way of remembering and honoring those that gave their lives fighting for their country. They originally picked May 30th because there were no specific battles fought on that day. This way they could honor ALL the fallen at once. (It should be noted the Union and the Confederate celebrated at different times, and many southern states didn't not celebrate with the north until after World War I.) May was also a good time because there were plenty of flowers growing to be picked to decorate the graves. Eventually when the United States began fighting in World War I, people began to remember all the lives lost during that great battle as well. Now we hold Memorial Day to remember all the men and women that have died over the many years in all the wars. It became an official National Holiday in 1971, and the last Monday in May was designated as the day to observe it.
Today many Americans spend the day visiting cemeteries, decorating graves, holding parades and having community bbq's. The celebrations are a way to honor those fallen by enjoying the freedoms we have because of their bravery.
For more information on Memorial Day, I suggest reading the articles HERE on History.com and HERE on cdn.spurgen.com
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