Memorial Day is a US federal holiday set aside to remember the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. The holiday, which is celebrated every year on the final Monday of May, was formerly known as Decoration Day and originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the Union and Confederate soldiers who died in the Civil War. By the 20th century, Memorial Day had been extended to honor all Americans who have died while in the military service. It typically marks the start of the summer vacation season, while Labor Day marks its end.
Many people visit cemeteries and memorials, particularly to honor those who have died in military service. Many volunteers place an American flag on each grave in national cemeteries. Each year on Memorial Day a national moment of remembrance takes place at 3:00 p.m. local time.
Memorial Day is not to be confused with Veterans Day; Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving, while Veterans Day celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans.
On Memorial Day, the US flag is raised briskly to the top of the staff and then solemnly lowered to the half-staff position, where it remains only until noon. It is then raised to full-staff for the remainder of the day.
For many Americans, the central event is attending one of the thousands of parades held on Memorial Day in large and small cities all over the country. Most of these feature marching bands and an overall military theme with the National Guard and other servicemen participating along with veterans and military vehicles from various wars.
Americans also observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries and memorials. On a less somber note, many people throw parties and barbecues on the holiday, perhaps because it unofficially marks the beginning of summer.
Often we do not observe Memorial Day as it should be, a day where we actively remember our ancestors, our family members, our loved ones, our neighbors, and our friends who have given the ultimate sacrifice. Here are a few ways you can honor and remember those who gave their lives for our country:
Anyone with food or drug allergies, diabetes, seizure disorders, metal fragments in the body, or most chronic conditions should wear a medical ID. American Medical ID has obtained a contract with the Federal Supply Schedule to make customized medical IDs available to veterans. Any veteran who needs a medical ID can get one free of charge through their local VA clinic. All they need to do is provide their VA doctor with this link: www.IdentifyYourself.com/VA. We provide a variety of products in different styles and colors as shown below.
Click here for more information on the American Medical ID VA program.