Memorial Day is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service. It is a federal holiday and is observed the last Monday of May.
It was first widely observed in 1868, to honor the sacrifices of both Union and Confederate soldiers after the Civil War. It was originally called Decoration Day since the purpose of the day was to remember the fallen soldiers by decorating their graves. General John A. Logan proclaimed:
The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet churchyard in the land.
Several cities claim to be the birthplace of Memorial Day but in 1966, President Lyndon Johnson, declared it to be Waterloo, NY. He chose Waterloo because the town had started honoring the fallen soldiers before most other places (starting in 1866) but mostly because the town had made Memorial Day a community wide holiday with businesses closing and residents decorating the graves of soldiers with flowers and flags.
By the late 1800s, many communities across the country had begun to celebrate Memorial Day and, after World War I, observances also began to honor those who had died in all of America's wars. In 1971, Congress declared Memorial Day a national holiday.
The Teen Kids News team wishes you and your family a healthy and peaceful holiday; show Creator and Executive Producer, Albert Primo, who served in the United States Air Force added, "Don't forget to remember those who died to make sure we are a free nation with free speech and can have shows like Teen Kids News."
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