Memorial Day: History, Meaning, And Interesting Facts For Kids | Kidadl

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Memorial Day: History, Meaning, And Interesting Facts For Kids

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Memorial Day is a federal holiday and is celebrated as a three-day weekend all over the United States.

Memorial Day has another name, Decoration Day. On this day, people decorate graves of comrades or fallen soldiers who served for the United States of America.

In the United States, people celebrate Memorial Day with their kids in several ways, like taking them to a Memorial day Parade, visiting cemeteries, spending time with family members, having family gatherings, or decorating homes in an American theme. On Memorial Day, people participate in parades. Until noon, flags are flown at half mast, and some people wear red poppies, a tradition originating from John McCrae's own poem, 'In Flanders Fields'. People visit graves of soldiers while others choose to travel over the Memorial Day weekend as it is at the beginning of summer.

Do you know Jefferson Davis's birthday is combined with Memorial Day? To know more interesting facts like the battle of Gallipoli and the battle of France, please do check out these articles on our Kidadl website.

Memorial Day History

Memorial Day was to honor Confederate soldiers who gave up their lives during the Civil War. In southern states, people honor these soldiers' lives. These soldiers inspired people to start celebrating Memorial Day. It continues to be celebrated now to honor all men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in the military. On this day, people hoist the flag of the United States at half mast from dawn until noon. Most cemeteries and memorials honor people. In most cemeteries, each volunteer places a flag on each soldier's grave. Originally, it was challenging to prove the origins of Memorial Day. Many cities and towns started claiming their places as the birthplace of Memorial Day. In May of 1966, Lyndon Johnson (president) officially declared N.Y Waterloo as the birthplace of Memorial Day. But it was evident that Memorial Day came after the Civil War, which ended in 1865. May 30, 1868, was designated to decorate graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion. Those bodies are everywhere in villages, cities, and hamlet churchyards across the country. It is not a ceremony of any particular battle; it was originally called Decoration Day, but later on, it changed to Memorial Day. It is celebrated on the last Monday in May. More than 620,000 soldiers died when there was war between the United States and the confederates; later, confederates became slaves.

Memorial Day history gives us a heartbreaking story. It gives details of how people supported each other and dealt with death after the war. This day has some customs and traditions like a national parade in which many people participate. Memorial Day, a national or official state holiday, is celebrated on the last Monday of May in the United States. It is the day we pay tribute to the military dead and by raising the American flag half mast. The official name was given in 1868 when Decoration Day was celebrated on May 30. The first state to make it an official federal holiday was Michigan in 1871; that day became Memorial Day later.

After World War I, Memorial Day extended to men and women who died in any war or during any military service. After World War II, this day was also to honor our military personnel who sacrificed their lives while serving the country. In 1967, it was officially declared as a holiday, along with having its name changed to Memorial Day. In 1968, civil court passed its judgment to have a legal holiday on the last Monday in May. Many nonessential government offices, along with schools and other organizations, are closed. People get a three-day weekend and people might go to the beach or take vacations and weekend trips.

Memorial Day Meaning

Memorial Day was initially named Decoration Day, and it marks the unofficial beginning of summer. On Memorial Day, parades take place. We can say that Memorial Day is the day of remembering soldiers who sacrificed their lives in World War I or II. Memorial Day started getting celebrated after World War II.

The Civil War began with a significant conflict in the nation's history. It began in the north, and many young men fell in battle. In 2000, the law was passed, the National Moment of Remembrance Act, where it asked people to stop at local time 3 pm and observe the National Moment of Remembrance Act by spending one minute in silence.

In the south, so many battlefields scarred landscapes. No one is sure where the actual battle started, but there were four years of fighting between northern and southern states. In addition to that, southern states have an additional day for celebrating the Confederate war dead. It is celebrated on different dates at different times depending on the state. On May 1, 1865 in South Carolina, the state freed African Americans and held a parade with more than 10,000 people to honor 257 dead union soldiers. The government initiated national cemeteries for union soldiers in towns and cities all over the country. Mourners came to those cemeteries and decorated these soldiers' graves with flowers and paid their tributes.

What is Memorial Day?

Memorial Day is a federal holiday, and it is a remembrance day of military personnel that served our country during civil wars and military conflicts. Decoration Day was the original name of Memorial Day. It was celebrated on May 30 until congress passed the Monday Holiday Act, so then Memorial Day was celebrated on the last Monday of May.

Understandable, some people get confused between Decoration Day, Memorial Day, and Veterans Day. However, on all these days, we remember all the veterans and honor them in various ways. Decoration Day was later changed to Memorial Day. On this day, we remember the military personnel who died during various wars while serving the country. Veterans Day is an official holiday. We give our gratitude to all the veterans who provided their service for our country. On Veterans Day, people wear red poppies as a symbol of remembrance.

Memorial Day was to honor Confederate soldiers

Why do we celebrate it?

We might have seen daily in our social media or other channels where many brave soldiers have gone on military tours by leaving their loved ones back home. Unfortunately, many of them don't return home for holidays together with their families. We salute their patriotic attitude.

Memorial Day is celebrated in their memory. As a community, we devote this day to remembering those brave heroes. Memorial Day weekend brings us a little joy as we celebrate with parades or have picnics and eat foods like grilled hotdogs. Officially Memorial Day is the start of the summer season for holidays, making this day more enjoyable.

Some people are more aware of this day as they may have family members that served the country. Some people have profound emotions on this holiday. On Memorial Day, we recognize and remember men and women of the military who sacrificed their lives in defense of our nation. In other words, it is celebrated to remember and recognize veterans who couldn't come home because they gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for Memorial Day, then take a look at battle of Jutland or the battle of Chancellorsville.

Written By
Sridevi Tolety

Sridevi's passion for writing has allowed her to explore different writing domains, and she has written various articles on kids, families, animals, celebrities, technology, and marketing domains. She has done her Masters in Clinical Research from Manipal University and PG Diploma in Journalism From Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. She has written numerous articles, blogs, travelogues, creative content, and short stories, which have been published in leading magazines, newspapers, and websites. She is fluent in four languages and likes to spend her spare time with family and friends. She loves to read, travel, cook, paint, and listen to music.

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