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What Does The Memorial Day Holiday Stand For?

Updated on October 21, 2015

What Does The Memorial Day Holiday Represent?

Memorial Day is the official day when the people of the United States recognize those soldiers that gave their lives in service of their country. Memorial Day, also known as Decoration Day. was officially proclaimed an American holiday on May 5, 1868 by General John Logan. The first day it was observed was on May 30, 1868. It was officially acknowledged that day when flowers were placed on the graves of both Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.

Each year since, we honor the memory of those who died while fighting for the freedom that America enjoys. While the traditional date of Memorial Day is May 30, it is now officially observed on the last Monday of May each year. We celebrate with parades, speeches, and picnics. Some cities and towns across American uphold the memory of the fallen soldiers more than others. Throughout the years Memorial Day observances and ceremonies have become less and less of a priority.

Moment of Remembrance

In December of 2000 a resolution was passed known as the "National Moment of Remembrance." This moment is to give Americans a chance to honor the dead in their own way with a moment of silence at 3:00 p.m. local time. It's a great way for Americans to personally acknowledge those that have given so much and to remember why we celebrate the Memorial Day holiday.

Memorial Day Holiday
Memorial Day Holiday

How To Observe The Memorial Day Holiday

Many of our family, friends and neighbors know someone or is related to someone that gave their life during War. Americans can help to honor those that given their lives in the following ways:

  • Place flags or flowers on the graves of those heroes that have died serving our country.
  • Visit memorials that have been built to honor our fallen heroes.
  • Fly the United States flag at half-staff until noon on Memorial Day.
  • Participate in the "Moment of Remembrance" in order to reflect on the meaning of the Memorial Day holiday.
  • Listen to "Taps" which is the official bugle call of military funerals.
  • Attend a local ceremony which remembers the heroes of war.
  • Take a moment to remember what they have given.
  • Tell your children and grandchildren about the fallen heroes and keep their memory alive. They have done a lot for the United States of America.

Do not forget those that have given their life to protect ours. Take time to celebrate the Memorial Day Holiday in your own way. It does not matter what you do, it only matters that you do something.

True Meaning of Memorial Day Holiday

Memorial Day Holiday Honors Casualties Of Major Wars

The following is a list of those who lost their lives in major wars in United States history:

Revolutionary War (1775-1783) 25,000

War of 1812 (1812-1815) 20,000

Mexican-American War (1846-1848) 13,283

Civil War (1861-1865) 623,026

Indian Wars (1865-1898) 919

Spanish-American War (1898) 2,446

World War 1 (1917-1918) 116,708

World War 2 (1941-1945) 407,316

Korean War (1950-1953) 36,914

Vietnam War (1964-1973) 58,169

Persian Gulf War (1991) 269

Afghanistan (2002-2009) 686+

Iraqi (2003-2009) 4,299+

Figures credited to U.S. Army Military History Institute.

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    • profile image

      Dagene 

      5 years ago

      It is very interesting story!!!!!!

    • profile image

      ariana 

      6 years ago

      Thank you for your support.

    • profile image

      ariana 

      6 years ago

      Thank you for your support.

    • profile image

      ashley 

      6 years ago

      I LOVE MEMORIAL DAY IT'S AWSOME and god bless people who gave up their life for us thank you.

    • profile image

      gabby 

      6 years ago

      I get a break from gymnastics.go memorial day.I love this day

    • profile image

      hokiemom 

      6 years ago

      This was great, concise, yet full of the detail I was looking for. I was searching for an article to help me explain to my 6- and 9-year old why we are fortunate to be enjoying a "vacation day".... it's not just another day to go swimming at the pool; there is a noble reason our country pauses to celebrate this day. Thank you.

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