When we think of Memorial Day, our minds often go straight to thoughts of a three-day weekend, backyard barbecues and the first taste of summer. However, Memorial Day isn’t only a time to celebrate; it’s also a time to remember. Many people aren't aware of the history of Memorial Day. Memorial Day was proclaimed in 1868 to decorate the graves of the soldiers who died in the Civil War. It was originally called Decoration Day and was set for May 5.
During the first Decoration Day, 5,000 people decorated the graves of more than 20,000 soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. The day was officially recognized by New York State in 1973 and by all northern states by 1890.
Today, Memorial Day is celebrated on the last Monday in May. It has become a tradition to wear poppies on Memorial Day to remember those who died while fighting for our country. At 3 p.m. on Memorial Day, Americans are encouraged to take a moment to honor, remember and respect those who have died for our nation.
So whether you’re at the beach or a barbecue, on vacation or getting cozy at home, take time to remember the courageous and the brave who didn’t get chance to enjoy the freedoms for which they fought.