As we take the time to honor the troops that have served this country an kept America free, let's also take a monmet to consider the origins of what we now celebrate as Memorial Day!
Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States that is observed annually on the last Monday of May. It is a day of remembrance for those who have died in service to the country. The origins of Memorial Day can be traced back to the American Civil War. During the Civil War, which lasted from 1861 to 1865, more than 620,000 soldiers died in combat or from disease. As the war ended, communities throughout the country began holding ceremonies to honor the fallen soldiers. The first recorded observance of what would become Memorial Day occurred in Charleston, South Carolina in 1865, when a group of freed slaves and Union soldiers gathered to decorate the graves of Confederate soldiers who had died in a nearby prison camp. The practice of decorating the graves of soldiers spread throughout the country and became known as Decoration Day. The name Memorial Day was first used in 1882, and by the end of the 19th century, it had become a national holiday to honor all soldiers who had died in service. In 1971, Memorial Day was officially declared a federal holiday by an act of Congress. Today, communities across the country continue to observe Memorial Day with parades, ceremonies, and the decoration of graves.
While Memorial Day has its origins in the aftermath of the Civil War, it has come to represent a day of reflection and gratitude for the sacrifices made by all those who have served in the U.S. military.