Memorial Day, also called Decoration Day, is a federal holiday in the United States for honoring and mourning the U.S. military personnel who have died in the performance of their military duties.
The day is observed on the last Monday of May every year, and in 2022 it will occur on the 30th of May. It originated in the first few years after the civil war but did not become a federal holiday until 1971.
Many use this day to visit cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and participating in parades. Some also view this as the beginning of summer season.
Traditions on this day
In addition to parades and family gatherings, some people also wear a red poppy in remembrance of those fallen in war. This tradition began with a World War I brigade surgeon who was struck by the sight of the red flowers growing on a ravaged battlefield. He wrote a poem about his experience and the poem inspired people to use these flowers as symbols.
The poem is called “In Flanders Field” as an aftermath of lethal chlorine gas being unleashed for the first time in the war. More than 120.000 soldiers died or disappeared in this battle.
National Moment of Remembrance
“National Moment of Remembrance”, was a resolution passed on Dec 2000 which asks that at 3 p.m. local time, for all Americans “To voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a Moment of remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence or listening to the eloquent and haunting “Taps”.
Many choose to spend this moment saluting or watching the American flag either being hoisted or waving in the wind.
The birthplace of Memorial Day was Declared to be declared Waterloo, N.Y., in 1966. This was done by the US Congress and President Lyndon Johnson.
A ceremony was held on May 5, 1866, honoring local veterans who had fought in the Civil War. Businesses closed and residents flew flags at half-staff. This is the event thought to be the origin to Memorial Day. Supporters of Waterloo’s claim say earlier observances in other places were either informal, not community-wide, or one-time events.