Memorial Day in the USA
The Americans observe Memorial Day on the last Monday of May. It was previously called Decoration Day. Actually, the purpose of the holiday was to honor the soldiers who fought for the United States. One of the common activities that many Americans do on Memorial Day is visiting memorials and cemeteries. This holiday also identifies the beginning of the summer season.
How Do Americans Celebrate Memorial Day?
One of the most important traditions is flying the flag of the United States of America at half-mast from the early morning until night. Lots of citizens come to cemeteries as well as memorials, mainly to show their respect for the dead men and women who fought during warfare. A great number of volunteers place a flag of the United States on each grave at national cemeteries.
On this holiday, many people organize picnics, play different kinds of sport and gather with their families on the weekend. This day starts the summer season and many cultural events begin. Regarding fashion, people prefer to wear white clothes and shoes from this day on and until Labor Day. Nevertheless, not so many people stick to this rule and wear white clothes throughout the whole year.
Since Memorial Day is one of the federal holidays, all schools, businesses, not very essential Government offices and a great number of other organizations stop their usual work because of this significant holiday. Many people see Memorial Day as a perfect opportunity to have a good time with their families and friends. This might be the cause of huge traffic jams on motorways and at airports.
The History of Memorial Day
Memorial Day was established in order to revere Union soldiers who died because of suffering and fighting during the American Civil War. It is important to mention that this idea was taken from the Southern states where Americans honored their dead in a special way. After World War I finished, all men and women who became the victims of any war or military action were included in the list of people who should be respected.
Some time ago, Memorial Day was known as Decoration Day. The name “Memorial Day” wasn’t introduced before World War II. Decoration Day and later Memorial Day would be held on the 30th of May. However, in 1968, when the Uniform Holidays Bill was approved, Memorial Day holiday started to be observed on the last Monday of May. As a matter of fact, it wasn’t so easy for all American states to get accustomed to this new date.