The History Of Memorial Day

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The History Of Memorial Day

Hera Serna, Staff Writer

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We have a countless number of holidays in the United States of America and most of these holidays have greater importance when it comes to their history. Holidays are supposed to allow individuals to celebrate or honor an event or tradition of cultural or religious importance. While some of these holidays cause a commotion others deserve the utmost respect when celebrating and a holiday that holds the most respect is Memorial Day.

Memorial Day is a holiday we have in order to celebrate and honor America’s dead soldiers. It’s also the holiday that officially kicks off summer, which is celebrated with cookouts, picnics, and fun in the sun. Memorial Day is an American holiday, held on the last Monday of May, honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military.

It was originally called Decoration Day, from the early tradition of decorating graves with flowers, wreaths, and flags. The Civil War ended in the spring of 1865 and had taken more lives than any conflict in U.S. history and required the establishment of the country’s first national cemeteries. Americans in various towns and cities had begun holding tributes to these fallen soldiers by decorating their graves with flowers and reciting prayers.  After World War I, it became an occasion for honoring those who died in all of America’s wars and was then established as a national holiday throughout the United States with a new name of Memorial Day.

 

Memorial Day is celebrated by countless people in many different ways. 6th Grader Brooke Sullivan said, ”I don’t have anyone in my family that served but my family and I just hang out to celebrate the holiday”. Cities and towns across the United States host Memorial Day parades each year, which included military personnel and members of veterans’ organizations. Some of the largest parades take place in Chicago, New York and Washington, D.C. Americans also celebrate Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries and memorials. Some people wear a red poppy in remembrance of those fallen in war, a tradition that began with a World War I poem. On a less somber note, many people take weekend trips or throw parties and barbecues on the holiday, perhaps because it marks the beginning of summer. 6th grader Emily Overholt explained how “I celebrate Memorial Day in order to honor my great grandfather and cousin. We go to my grandmother’s house and we have a cookout.”

 

Memorial Day is a big part of our nation’s history and it might just be a big part of your life. It doesn’t matter whether you have a family member that served, this holiday should be respected by even you. We have this holiday to honor and remember.