Memorial Day

Memorial Day

Memorial Day, or Decoration Day, has been recognized in the United States since the 1860s.  It was first called Decoration Day because family and friends decorated the graves of soldiers with flowers.

Memorial Day First Associated with Civil War

Until the 1900s, Memorial Day reminded everyone of the sacrifice of the soldiers who fought in the Civil War. General John Logan, the national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, asked people to honor Civil War soldiers on May 30, 1868. At Arlington National Cemetery, citizens placed flowers on the graves of both Union and Confederate soldiers.

Honors All Veterans

As America took part in other wars, Memorial Day became a day to honor our brave soldiers from World War I and all the wars since that time.

Last Monday in May Official Memorial Day

In 1971, Congress chose to set aside the last Monday in May as the official Memorial Day. A few states still keep another day to honor those who died fighting for the Confederacy: in Texas, this date is January 19; for Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida, this date is April 26; and Jefferson Davis’s birthday, June 3, is used by Louisiana and Tennessee.

toddler-508666_960_720Things to do to Honor Our Soldiers on Memorial Day

On Memorial Day, you can visit cemeteries. Putting flowers or flags on the graves of soldiers shows you remember their sacrifice. The United States flag can be flown at half-staff until noon.

The brave men and women who have served our country deserve our thanks. If you see a veteran or a soldier currently serving in our military, you may want to say, “Thank you for serving our country.”

– Sandra Merville Hart


Greif, Martin. The Holiday Book: America’s Festivals and Celebrations. The Main Street Press, 1978.

“Memorial Day History.” SUVCW & David Merchant. 19 March 2013.

“How to Observe Memorial Day.” SUVCW & David Merchant. 19 March 2013.

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *