Memorial Day: Honoring the Ultimate Sacrifice and Remembering Our Heroes
Memorial Day, which falls on the last Monday of May, is a day of remembrance and tribute to those who have lost their lives while serving in the armed forces. It is a federal holiday in the United States and marks the beginning of summer.
The idea of honoring fallen soldiers actually dates back to the ancient Greeks and Romans who held events to celebrate and honor their dead. In the United States, the first national commemoration of Memorial Day was observed on May 30, 1868, after the end of the Civil War. Known as Decoration Day at the time, the holiday was a time to decorate the graves of soldiers who had died in the conflict.
The holiday was officially recognized by the federal government in 1971 and was renamed Memorial Day. While Decoration Day began as a day to remember those who had died in the Civil War, it soon became a way to honor all fallen soldiers from any war.
On Memorial Day, people across the United States visit cemeteries and memorials to pay their respects to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. Flags are flown at half-staff until noon, after which they are raised again to full staff. Parades and ceremonies are also held to honor the dead.
While Memorial Day