Memorial Day is one of our most well known and celebrated National holidays. It is a federal holiday in the United States that is specifically for commemorating and remembering those brave individuals that have fallen while serving in our armed forces. This holiday is observed on the last Monday of May.
Many of Memorial Day's customs and practices originate with the practice of bringing and placing flowers on a soldier's grave. This practice in the U.S. dates all the way back to the Civil War. Due to the large number of casualties sustained by both the North and the South in the Civil War, the memorials for soldiers took on a special significance and gravity within this nation. On May 26, 1966 President Johnson signed a presidential proclamation naming Waterloo, New York as the birthplace of Memorial Day. The preferred name for the holiday used to be Decoration Day, but as time went on it slowly changed to Memorial Day.
The United States flag is raised quickly to the top of the flag staff, and is then respectfully lowered to half-staff until noon. It is then raised to full-staff for the remainder of the day. The significance of the half-staff position is to pay respect to the individuals that have served our country in the armed forces. The raise back to full-staff is to honor the living and their continuing service. Memorial Day is celebrated around the U.S. with various parades and processions. Most Memorial Day celebrations include marching bands and military themes