Memorial Day is an American holiday, observed on the last Monday of May. The day is dedicated in honour of the men and women who died serving in the U.S. military. Originally known as Decoration Day, the day was conceptualised following the Civil War. Americans celebrate Memorial Day by honouring the people who lost their lives in the military and visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and participating in parades. Memorial Day 2021 will be celebrated on Monday, May 31.
Memorial Day formerly known as Decoration, was first celebrated to honour only those who lost their lives while fighting in the Civil War. However, during World War I the United States sacrificed innumerable men and women fighting the nazis and the day eventually morphed to commemorate American military personnel who died in all wars, including World War II, The Vietnam War, The Korean War and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Memorial Day was initially to be observed on May 30 but in 1968, Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which established Memorial Day as the last Monday in May to create a three-day weekend for federal employees and declared Memorial Day a federal holiday. The law was put into action in 1971.
Memorial Day is celebrated across the country, with huge, spectacular memorial day parades, decorating their homes with the colours of the American Flag, having a moment of silence for the people who lost their lives in the war and visiting cemeteries of the dead heroes. People also have fundraisers in support of the military personnel and their families.