Memorial Day is a federal holiday observed annually in the United States on the last Monday of May in remembrance of those who have died in our nation's armed services.
Here are a few facts about Memorial Day:
- Memorial Day became an official federal holiday in 1971.
- The holiday was established May 5, 1868, by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11.
- It was first observed May 30, 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.
- Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day.
- The morning of Memorial Day, the American flag is raised briskly to the top of the flag pole, then slowly lowered to half-mast where it stays until noon. At noon the flag is raised to the top of the flag pole, and slowly and ceremoniously lowered and removed at the day's end.
- Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, having barbecues and attending parades.
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