Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States for remembering the people who died while serving in the country’s armed forces. The holiday, is observed every year on the last Monday of May. It originated as Decoration Day after the American Civil War in 1868, when an organization of Union veterans established it as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. By the 20th century, competing Union and Confederate holiday traditions, celebrated on different days merged and Memorial Day was established to honor all Americans who died while in the military service.
Memorial Day marks the start of the summer vacation season while Labor Day marks its end. Many people visit cemeteries and memorials to honor those who have died in military service. Many volunteers place an American flag on each grave in national cemeteries.
On Memorial Day, the flag of the United States is raised briskly to the top of the staff and then solemnly lowered to the half-staff position, where it remains only until noon. It is then raised to full-staff for the remainder of the day. The half-staff position remembers the more than one million men and women who gave their lives in service for their country. At noon, their memory is raised by the living, who resolve not to let their sacrifice be in vain, but to rise up in their place and continue the fight for liberty and justice for all.
The National Memorial Day Concert takes place on the west lawn of the United States Capitol. The concert is broadcast on PBS and NPR. Music is performed, and respect is paid to the men and women who gave their lives for their country.
For many Americans, the central event is attending one of the thousands of parades held on Memorial Day in large and small cities all over the country. Most of these feature marching bands and an overall military theme with the National Guard and other servicemen participating along with veterans and military vehicles from various wars.
One of the longest-standing traditions is the running of the Indianapolis 500, an auto race which has been held in conjunction with Memorial Day since 1911.
Many Latinos are honored on Memorial Day. Visit our website at www.Fisher-Hill.com to learn about our easy to use workbooks that help Spanish-speaking teens and adults learn English.