Every year, Memorial Day is observed on the last Monday of May and this year it will be celebrated on May 26, 2014. Memorial Day is a time to remember all our fallen soldiers and our armed forces. Many festivities have been scheduled to celebrate and honor the men and women who have died for the country in military service, throughout the country.
This day was earlier known as Decoration Day and was designated for the purpose of decorating the graves of comrades with flowers. May 30 was declared as Decoration Day by Maj. Gen. John A. Logan. The current name came into use after World War II and it was declared as a federal holiday in 1971. Americans observed the Memorial Day on May 30 for several years. The U.S. Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act in 1968 and this act established the Memorial Day as the last Monday in May. The law also declared this day a federal holiday.
Many celebrate Memorial Day by taking part in parades and by visiting the cemeteries of the fallen soldiers. They also attend events honoring our service members. Cities and towns across the U.S. host parades every year and some large parades take place in Washington D.C., New York and Chicago. As this day is a federal holiday, all non-essential Government offices, schools, businesses and other organizations will be closed.
People see this weekend as an opportunity to go on short vacations. Many hold picnics and family gatherings on this weekend as this day also marks the beginning of summer. This weekend means three full days of activities, but it is also important to honor and say “thank you” to all the fallen soldiers and veterans.
In 2000, “The National Moment of Remembrance Act,” that was passed by the U.S. Congress, was approved and signed into law by the president. This Act that was passed in order to the ensure that the sacrifices made by the fallen soldiers are never forgotten, also created the White House Commission. This commission encourages the people of the country to remember and honor the soldiers, who have given their lives for the country, by pausing for a minute of silence at 3 p.m. on this day.