What Is Memorial Day
What is Memorial Day? Over the decades, Memorial Day has slowly lost its true meaning. Although it is widely known to remember soldiers, it is also associated with barbecues, children, including some adults spending their time relaxing while having a day off from school and work. Get to know the origins of Memorial Day
History of Memorial Day. To know what is Memorial Day is to learn the history behind one of the biggest holidays in the year. After the loss of Union and Confederate soldiers in the American Civil War, Henry Welles, a storeowner druggist, originated Memorial Day in Waterloo, New York on May 5 1868. Welles proposed that the town closed all shops for the day to remember deceased soldiers. Closely around that time, General John Logan, a commander of the Grand Army of the Republic gather surviving soldiers as they head to the Waterloo cemetery to place flowers on each soldier’s gravesite. Waterloo residents heard of the idea and it suddenly became known as Decoration Day observed on May 30.
The birth of Memorial Day. As the popularity of Decoration Day was gradually known in Northern states, by 1882, the name was change from Decoration Day to Memorial Day. However, the South was unwilling to accept Memorial Day and honor their Confederate soldiers on separate dates. After America's second biggest war, World War I, Memorial Day commemorate both men and women who died in the line of duty, no matter what type of war they fought. The South equally celebrate it along with the rest of the nation; but in few towns they continue the tradition separating on other dates. Between 1967-68, a Bill passed to extend Memorial Day into a three-day weekend, and the name itself became official across the nation. By 1971, the Memorial Day date change from May 30th to the last Monday in May.
Memorial Day celebrations. Despite the day originally honoring dead servicemen and women, it’s now extended as a personal remembrance of deceased family and friends as loved ones visit cemeteries and place flowers on gravesites. Government buildings, postal services, banks, schools, and public libraries are closed on Memorial Day. Aside from visiting cemeteries, many Americans prefer to spend the Memorial Day holiday relaxing at home and having barbecue cookouts.