Memorial Day is one of the most important holidays in the U.S. Observed annually every last Monday of May, people usually take some time off from their work and other activities to reflect on the significance of this all-important celebration. To know the reason why we celebrate Memorial Day, it is quite interesting to look at the various significant events in history that made this day very special.
The Significance of Memorial Day
Why do we celebrate Memorial Day? The primary reason why people celebrate this special event is to commemorate the lives of U.S. soldiers and other military personnel who sacrificed their lives and died in honor of their country. Before, people celebrated this event in honor of the casualties of the American Civil War, particularly Union soldiers. Today, the entire country celebrates this event to honor all the Americans who have died while taking part in any kind of military action or war.
People usually visit memorials and cemeteries in observance of this very special day. Every 3 p.m. of this day, the whole country holds a national moment of remembrance. In various parts of the country, people set the U.S. flag at half-staff position for a significant period. Meanwhile, certain individuals and volunteer groups visit national cemeteries in order to reflect and put small American flags on every gravesite.
Aside from remembering the courageous efforts of deceased U.S. soldiers, many people spend this time with their families and friends. Together, they cook and eat barbecues while enjoying the presence of one another. Furthermore, other people hold picnics to celebrate this special day, which is indeed a very worthy cause for national celebration. People also hold national sporting events during this day such as the Indianapolis 500.
At the U.S. Capitol, organizers set the so-called National Memorial Day Concert. This special show is aired on NPR (National Public Radio) and televised over PBS (Public Broadcasting Service). In addition to the special music performances, people commemorate the lives of decreased American soldiers and military personnel. In the past, people celebrated this special holiday every 30th day of May.
Additional Information about Memorial Day
This special day of celebration started in the village of Waterloo in New York. Former U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson solidified this fact when he signed a proclamation, which designated it as the birthplace of the holiday. From the usual May 30 observance, the celebration of this holiday was changed to the last Monday of May in order to form a highly convenience three-day weekend each year.