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Monday, May 30, 2022

Happy Memorial Day 2022!

Many celebrate the long Memorial Day weekend with barbecues and family get-togethers, but Memorial Day is so much more than a chance to kick off the summer months. At its heart, Memorial Day marks a thoughtful day of observance, centered on remembering and thanking the millions of Americans in uniform who gave their lives for this country. Memorial Day's meaning is truly about those heroic women and men, and the remarkable sacrifices they made.

Memorial Day began a few years after the Civil War, in 1868. An organization of Union veterans established the holiday, then known as Decoration Day, as a time to decorate the graves of fallen soldiers with flowers. From then until the present day, the solemn holiday has been formally observed at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C.

In 2000, Congress passed the National Moment of Remembrance Act, which encourages Americans to observe a moment of silence at 3 p.m. local time to remember those who have died in service.

Memorial Day Facts

Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day. 

The holiday began as a way to honor soldiers who died in the Civil War, but the day now honors all U.S. veterans who have sacrificed their lives.

There’s a specific way to display the American flag on Memorial Day, according to the U.S. Flag Code: hoist the flag quickly up to full staff at sunrise, then lower to half-staff until noon, and then return to the top of the staff.

Many veterans, as well as friends and family of veterans, make a pilgrimage to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., over Memorial Day weekend.

In 1971, Memorial Day was established as a federal holiday taking place on the last Monday in May. 

Poppies have become a symbol of Memorial Day because they are mentioned in a 1915 poem by Canadian soldier John McCrae, “In Flanders Fields.”

Many Americans mark Memorial Day with an official moment of remembrance at 3 p.m. local time.

During the 3 p.m. moment of remembrance on Memorial Day, Amtrak conductors sound one long whistle in honor of those who have died in service.

Traditionally, American presidents give a Memorial Day speech at Arlington National Cemetery at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

New York was the first state to recognize Memorial Day as an official holiday.

Some Southern states celebrate a Confederate Memorial Day, or Confederate Heroes Day, in late April, remembering the Confederate soldiers who died during the Civil War.

The first Indianapolis 500 race took place on Memorial Day in 1911. 

The Lincoln Memorial was dedicated by then-Chief Justice William Taft on Memorial Day in 1922. 

There is no right or wrong way to celebrate Memorial Day weekend, for each person has their own way of memorializing and honoring the fallen soldiers of the past. However you choose to commemorate Memorial Day, be it with mournful reflection, hotdogs and happiness, or a mix of both, we ask that you do so to honor the memory of those who, in the words of President Abraham Lincoln, never forget those who “gave the last full measure of devotion.”

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