Why is Memorial Day important?

Time Of Info By TOI Desk Report   May 25, 2024   Update on : May 26, 2024

Memorial Day, Memorial Day 2024
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Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the US that honours members of the military who died while serving the country.

However, the day wasn’t always referred to as Memorial Day, and many do not know the history behind the holiday.

As the country recognizes those who made the ultimate sacrifice on Monday, here are some tidbits about the importance of the day:

What day is Memorial Day observed?

Memorial Day is generally observed on the last Monday of May. This year it falls on May 27, and the holiday will come a day earlier until 2027.

When was the first Memorial Day celebrated?

Memorial Day was first observed on May 30, 1868, which was originally known back then as “Decoration Day.”

A General in the Union Army during the American Civil War, John A Logan, proclaimed the day as Decoration Day. He called on the public to decorate the graves of Union soldiers who died fighting in the Civil War. At least 5,000 people showed up and laid flowers over the graves.

As more states started adopting the Day, it turned into a remembrance day for all US soldiers after the World Wars.

The Congress changed the day to the last Monday of May in 1971 and termed the day — “Memorial Day”.

Memorial Day is usually confused with other holidays marking the sacrifices of US troops, such as Veterans Day or Armed Forces Day, which is earlier in May.

How to observe Memorial Day?

Families, relatives and friends visit cemeteries and memorials on the Day to mourn the martyred soldiers. Volunteers also place the national flag on the graves in national cemeteries.

Does Memorial Day mark the start of summer?

While Memorial Day is not the official beginning of summer, many feel the holiday weekend marks the beginning of the season due to warmer weather and students entering summer breaks.


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