Memorial Day Essay

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The meaning behind the history and celebration of Memorial Day…

Iyesha Bush
SSC 101
Professor Walker
June 1, 2011

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service. It is a day to remember and honor all those who gave their lives in defense of our country. Traditionally Memorial Day is celebrated in the United States on the 30th of May every year; this three-day weekend is a time for celebration and family outings, it is usually the last Monday of the month of May. This celebration is done in remembrance of all those military personnel that has fought for our country and most especially those who have given their lives in this cause. The history of the Memorial Day celebration started in and was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states. After World War I the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war. Over the years it came to serve as a day to remember all U.S. men and women killed or missing in action in all wars.

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