Why Do We Celebrate Memorial Day?

For many Memorial Day marks the beginning of summer. It’s a day where friends and family get together, fire up the grill, and go swimming. But today is more than just a day off work, it is the day we commemorate those who have laid their lives down for our country. The men and women of our armed forces who have paid the ultimate price to ensure our freedom.

It all started 150 years ago, the Civil War had just ended and communities all over the country decided to get together and commemorate the fallen soldiers. Businesses were shuttered and black crepe was draped across buildings. They would then gather together and lay flowers on the soldier’s graves. For years this day was known as “Decoration Day”.

Memorial Day

Then after the turn of the century it slowly became known as “Memorial Day” and was expanded to include all of America’s wars. However, it was not until 1971 that Memorial Day would become a national holiday.

Memorial Day

So as you enjoy that outdoor barbecue with your friends and family today make sure you stop to remember those brave men and women who sacrificed their lives for you and I. Without them our nation would not be what is today.


For more information check out this short clip from the History Channel.

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