On Memorial Day, we remember and honor the men and women who have given their lives while serving in the United States Armed Forces. This day is set aside to reflect on their ultimate sacrifice, and to pay tribute to their courage and patriotism.
Memorial Day was first observed on May 30, 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union soldiers who had died during the Civil War. The holiday was known as Decoration Day at that time. It is thought that General John A. Logan, leader of an organization for Northern Civil War veterans, originated the idea of decorating the graves of fallen soldiers.
In 1971, Memorial Day was declared a national holiday by an act of Congress. It is now observed on the last Monday in May. On this day, we honored the dead by decorating their graves with flowers, flying the flag at half-staff, and observing a moment of silence at 3:00 p.m. (local time).
This holiday is also a time for us to reflect on the high price of freedom. We remember the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice so that we could enjoy the freedoms we have today. We are forever grateful for their service and sacrifice.