Day Honors those Who Fell In Battle
Dayton, TN — On the last Monday of May, our nation observes Memorial Day. Memorial Day honors men and women who died while serving in the U.S. Military. The holiday was originally known as Decoration Day and originated in the years following the Civil War. Memorial Day became an official holiday in 1971.
For many, this is a day to visit the cemeteries or memorials to decorate the graves and take time to remember the fallen. On this day, there is normally a moment of rememberance that takes place at 3:00 pm local time. The American Flag is also flown at half mast to honor the fallen.
On History.com, it says “Waterloo–which first celebrated the day on May 5, 1866–was chosen because it hosted an annual community wide event, during which businesses closed and residents decorated the graves of soilders with flowers and flags.”
On the first Decoration Day, at Arlington National Cemetery, and 5,000 participants decorated the graves of the 20,000 Union and Confederate soilders buried there.
In 1968 Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which established Memorial Day as the last Monday in May.
Many towns and cities around the United States host Memorial Day parades each year. Another tradition for Memorial Day is to wear a red poppy to remember the fallen. This tradition began after World War 1. The poppy is tied to a poem written by a World War 1 surgeon, who was struck by the beauty of a field of red flowers growing on a battlefield.