Current Events / Memorial Day | Lewiston’s Sun Journal
Memorial Day is a national holiday in the United States. The holiday honors troops who died in past wars like WWI, WWII, Korean War, Vietnam War, and all who died in the Middle East.
The National Day began on May 30, 1868. Union General John A. Logan called the day an occasion to decorate the graves of Civil War soldiers. He called it Decoration Day. After World War I, the holiday was more commonly referred to as Memorial Day.
In 1950, President Harry S. Truman issued a proclamation expanding the purpose of Memorial Day. He called on Americans to also observe the holiday as a day of prayer for peace. President Richard M. Nixon declared Memorial Day a federal holiday in 1971.
Memorial Day is now celebrated on the last Monday in May. It honors the men and women of the United States military who died in American wars. One of the greatest traditions of Memorial Day is for the president or vice president to give a speech. Another is for the president or vice president to lay a wreath at the graves of soldiers in America’s largest military cemetery, Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia.
Most cities have local Memorial Day celebrations. Here are some ways to honor the men and women who have served our country.
– Put flags or flowers on the graves of men and women who served in wars.
– Fly the American flag at half mast until noon.
– Visit the monuments dedicated to soldiers, sailors and marines.
– Attend the National Moment of Remembrance at 3 p.m. local time.
– Walk in a parade.
Memorial Day is considered by many Americans to be the start of summer.