Memorial Day

A Salute to the fallen heroes: Memorial Day

Being a US citizen you must have a pretty good idea of what Memorial Day is and what it symbolizes. Memorial Day is a federal public holiday in the US. It is held in the honor and commemoration of the men and women in the US military uniforms who lost their lives in service. What started off as a national observance under name “Decoration Day”, with time took more meaning and now has finally ended up with the name Memorial Day.

Memorial Day is celebrated on the last Monday of May which can fall on the dates from 25th to 31st. Memorial Day 2024 will be observed on May 27 which makes now a perfect time to learn about the day and understand the significance of this holiday among Americans.

How Memorial Day came into existence?

It is quite an interesting thing that the exact origins of this day are quite unclear. I tried to look up and read as much as I could to pin point the time the Memorial day was established. There are several states and communities that take credit for the existence of Memorial Day. But the National Cemetery Administration gives the credits to a woman named Mary Ann Williams who propelled the idea of showering and decorating the graves of Union soldiers who lost lives during the civil war. So, many date this event back to the American Civil War where the graves of the American soldiers were at times decorated with the US flags and flowers.

The first time this was observed across the nation was on May 30th, 1868, which was announced by the Commander in Chief, John A. Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic to honor the union soldiers who lost their lives in the civil war. It was given the name “Decoration Day” which symbolized the decoration of the graves of the fallen soldiers. Starting off with New York in 1871, every state followed suite, and by the 1890s, adopted the Memorial Day as a public holiday. And in 1971 when the congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, the holiday was moved to be observed on the last Monday of May every year.

This coming year, Memorial Day 2024 is supposed to be observed on the 27th of May. Check out more about when is Memorial Day 2024.

How people celebrate Memorial Day in the US.

Every year, a few states in the US hold a parade in the honor of US armed forces. The earliest records of the Memorial Day parade dates back to 1867 In Rochester, Wisconsin. Next up were Doylestown, Pennsylvania and Grafton, West Virginia who started the tradition of Memorial Day parades, which has continued to this day. Dressed up in military uniforms the parades are carried out through the streets with bands playing patriotic music.

Families of these dead US soldiers visit the graves and honor them with flowers and US flags. Some communities even organize small gatherings in which they hold special services to honor the US Army personnel. Some Churches adhering to these cemeteries also have their own tradition of honoring the dead.

But for most people throughout the country, Memorial Day in the form a long weekend that they can enjoy. People plan vacations and trips with their friends and family over the weekend, arrange cookouts on a nice weekend afternoon and other things to relax, de-stress and enjoy the weather of the summer in May.

Memorial Day in this year….

If you were wondering when is Memorial Day 2024, you easily find it out by looking up in May Calendar or checking online. Memorial Day 2024 will be observed on Monday, May 27th. Now that you have a better understanding of the history and significance of this day, it might be possible that you have a new meaning for this holiday and a greater respect for all the military personnel that fought and lost their lives so that you and I can have a life away from all the hardships.