Originally called Decoration Day, in honor of the soldiers who fought and died in the Civil War, Memorial Day has since become a day to commemorate Americans who have died fighting in all wars.
The first use of the name â€œMemorial Dayâ€ caught on in 1882. Yet, it was not declared the official name until 1967. Since May of 1971 Memorial Day has been celebrated on the last Monday of the month.
Many observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries and memorials. Every year volunteers place an American flag on each grave in the National Cemetery. Friends and family members gather to continue the tradition of decorating the graves of loved ones. Memorial Day is a great opportunity to discuss with our children the history behind the holiday as well as, the many benefits we enjoy as a result of the ultimate sacrifices of brave men and women who died defending our freedom and liberty.
In addition to honoring the memory of the military, Memorial Day marks one of the longest standing traditions since 1911, the Indy 500. It is also viewed as the beginning of summer and serves as a time for family gatherings, picnics and community celebrations.
You can start your own family traditions to make Memorial Day more than just a three day weekend.
- Write and perform a play.
- Plant a Victory Garden.
- Visit a National Monument.
- Take a tour of the battlefields or a Historic site.
- Attend a Civil War reenactment.
- Attend a concert or parade.
- Learn to make ice cream.
- Learn to make homemade Root Beer.
Looking for something different to serve your guests other than hamburgers and hot dogs this Memorial Day?