Holiday: Memorial Day

May 29, 2017


Happy Memorial Day everybody. Think about someone you know who might have been in the military. Look grateful for the protection offered by the armed services.

Some quick holiday facts:

  1. It is not national BBQ day.
  2. Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day, because that is the day that graves were decorated. It started with the American Civil War.
  3. Decoration Day was originally set for May 30th by a certain General Logan, but it is not the anniversary of any particular battle.
  4. In 1968, the U.S. Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday act, which moved Memorial Day from May 30th to the last Monday in May. The UMH act went into effect in 1971. These were turbulent years for the U.S., being caught up in the Vietnam War police action, with deep disagreements from the civilian population.
  5. The current name “Memorial Day” dates all the way back to 1882, but “Decoration Day” was in use until after WWII. Federal law made “Memorial Day” the official term in 1967.
  6. It is customary to fly the American flag at half-staff until noon, and then at full-staff until dusk on Memorial Day. It is also customary to observe a moment of silence at 3 PM, local time on that day.

Next year’s Memorial Day will be on May 28th.