Memorial Day, May 31, 2021

Monday, May 31, 2021

Artwork by Whitney Potter

Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States for honoring and mourning the military personnel who have died in the performance of their military duties while serving in the United States Armed Forces.

The holiday's exact origins are uncertain, but it came out of Civil War traditions of decorating the graves of fallen soldiers with flowers. Many cities and individuals claimed to have been the first to celebrate the event. 

In 1868, General John A. Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic called for a "Decoration Day," which was widely celebrated. By 1890, every Northern state had adopted it as a holiday. 

The World Wars turned it into a generalized day of remembrance, instead of just for the Civil War. In 1971, Congress standardized the holiday as "Memorial Day" and changed its observance.



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