Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States that honors those who died while serving in the military. It is observed on the last Monday of May each year, and this year it will be celebrated on May 31st, 2023. Memorial Day serves as an important reminder to all Americans of the sacrifices made by our brave servicemen and women throughout our nation’s history.
In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about Memorial Day 2023, including how it’s celebrated in the United States and how you can honor it in your own special way.
What Is Memorial Day and the History Behind It?
Memorial Day has been an important day of remembrance for the United States for over 150 years. The holiday was originally known as Decoration Day and began shortly after the Civil War in recognition of soldiers from both sides who had died during the conflict. It was intended as a time to honor those who had given their lives in service of the nation, where families from all across the country would join in largely symbolic activities such as placing flowers or flags at headstones and monuments dedicated to these brave individuals.
Over the years, Memorial Day has evolved into a ritual for all fallen servicemembers to commemorate, regardless of which war they were involved in. While some argue that its original significance has lost its meaning due to it also becoming associated with time off work and shopping sales, most Americans still choose to recognize this day as an honorable reminder of those who made the ultimate sacrifice while defending our freedoms.
Today, Memorial Day is observed on the last Monday of May each year, but commemorations nationwide typically remain similar: speeches by current members of the military and community events such as parades and carnivals are mainstays across cities, small and large. Though present-day celebrations attempt to uphold traditions dating back before any living Americans can remember, there is no denying that, ultimately, this special moment is meant to pay homage to those who gave so much for our great nation’s sake.
When Is Memorial Day?
Memorial Day is celebrated each year on the last Monday of May. Memorial Day will be celebrated this year on Monday, May 29th, 2023.
Common Ways to Celebrate Memorial Day in the United States
Now that we’ve covered the background behind Memorial Day let’s look at what you can do to commemorate this important day. Here are some of the most common ways people celebrate Memorial Day in the United States:
Decorate Your Home With Flags
Memorial Day is a special time to pay honor and respect to the brave men and women who have sacrificed to defend our freedom. You can show your appreciation this Memorial Day by decorating your home with American flags. Whether it be hanging them from window shutters or displaying them proudly on porches and balconies – Just having these flags out in the open will help remind us of all that is worth remembering. Not only will this provide a reminder of those we’ve lost in wars past and present, but it’s also a symbol of national pride.
In addition to flag decorations, there are a variety of other ways you can get creative this Memorial Day. Outline outdoor walkways with flowers in red, white, and blue for passersby to admire – Or create one-of-a-kind wreaths featuring pictures and mementos from loved ones who are no longer with us.
Celebrate With a BBQ
One way to show your appreciation for our veterans is by having a BBQ to celebrate the holiday. It’s a fun and easy get-together that encourages everyone to come together and appreciate the day as well as each other. Start by setting up your grill – bring out extra burners, tables, chairs, and furniture if necessary. Invite family and friends over, mix various side dishes and drinks together, use inviting decorations such as flags or bouquets of flowers, play some music and enjoy.
To make sure your BBQ goes off without a hitch, double-check ahead of time if anyone has any dietary restrictions before making your grocery list. Memorial Day is also an excellent time to try new recipes since there’s usually plenty of food on hand. Try out all sorts of recipes from hamburgers or hot dogs to potato salads and coleslaws – there are so many options! Once you’re done cooking, don’t forget to take pictures with family and friends so that you can remember this special day for years to come.
Volunteer on Memorial Day
One way to honor the vision and legacy of selfless sacrifice is to volunteer on this day. Whether a coat drive, community clean up, or helping set up for nearby events – volunteerism can be an intentional way to create a space in which truth and love prevail. Not only is it an opportunity to give back while remembering those that have passed, but it’s a great way to get people in the local community more connected with one another. It can also open up dialogue on what Memorial Day represents, giving our country an opportunity to heal and remember collectively.
Celebrate at the Beach
Spending a day at the beach is an ideal way to not only appreciate those in service but also festivity celebrate the start of summer. To create a special memorial day celebration by the shore, begin by bringing along items that signify remembrance; flags, decorative ribbons, or patriotic-themed materials are all appropriate.
Taking part in activities like beach volleyball, swimming, and building sandcastles provides a fun-filled atmosphere while still paying respect to what Memorial Day should ultimately be about.
Write Letters to the Military
Memorial Day is an important holiday to recognize and honor the brave men and women in our military who have sacrificed their lives for our freedom. One meaningful way to mark this day is by writing a letter of appreciation to a service member or veteran.
The letters can be a simple message expressing how much you value their sacrifice, or they can include thoughtful stories about how their service has impacted your life. When mailed, these messages have the potential to brighten someone’s mood and remind them of how truly appreciated they are. Giving up just a few minutes of your day to make someone smile makes all the difference, especially for those facing times of hardship or difficulty.
Go on a Memorial Day Trip
One of the best ways to appreciate the soldiers who gave their lives in service to our country is by going on a Memorial Day trip. Visiting the graves of fallen heroes, or destinations meaningful to them, will not only honor their memory but also remind us of their courage and selflessness. You can even make it a family affair by visiting local historical sites, such as battlegrounds or museums.
These locations offer an interesting mix of education, and real-world examples of sacrifices made that allow us to live in freedom today. Whether you want to reflect individually or celebrate with others, memorial day is the perfect opportunity to appreciate those who have laid down their life for our country in the best way possible – through memorable experiences and heartfelt appreciation.
Attend a Memorial Day Parade
A great way to acknowledge this day is by attending a Memorial Day parade. Parades may start with a clear recognition of service members through a flag-carrying ceremony or flyover planes, as well as include marching bands and patriotic speeches.
Events also may take place that honor veterans with displays of military artifacts, music, and dances to commemorate their service. Attending a Memorial Day parade is one way to come together with family and friends in a tangible expression of patriotism and remembrance – one that will stay with you long after the holiday passes.
Watch Memorial Day Fireworks
A great way to honor these individuals is by watching the Memorial Day fireworks in your local area, if available. Fireworks add a wonderfully festive atmosphere to the occasion, with dazzling colors and loud noises that can be enjoyed while honing in on the true meaning of this day. Furthermore, spending quality time with loved ones at such an event will help bring the much-needed closure to this solemn day.
Do Other Countries Celebrate Memorial Day?
No matter how you choose to celebrate memorial day, there is no doubt that it is an important holiday for all citizens of the United States. But as we know, memorial day isn’t just celebrated in the United States – many other countries around the world also honor their fallen soldiers. However, it is not the same memorial day that is celebrated in the US.
In the United Kingdom, memorial day takes place on November 11th, known as Remembrance Day. In Australia, memorial day is commemorated on April 25th (ANZAC Day), and Canada commemorates memorial day on July 1st (Canada Day). Other countries around the world also celebrate memorial day on a variety of dates, but all have one thing in common – they remember and honor their fallen troops.
Conclusion: Memorial Day 2023
In this article, we discussed Memorial Day 2023 and how it is celebrated in the United States. We covered some of the most common ways people celebrate memorial day, such as decorating their homes with flags, having a BBQ, or attending memorial parades. We also looked at how memorial day is celebrated around the world. So this memorial day, let’s remember our fallen heroes and show our appreciation for the freedom they have given us.
14 Facts About Memorial Day
Memorial Day is a holiday celebrated in the United States every year on the last Monday in May. It is a day to remember and honor those who have died in service of our country and to recognize the sacrifices made by the men and women in the military. This day was first celebrated in 1866s. It is a day for Americans to come together and remember those who have given their lives to defend our nation and its freedoms.
Memorial Day is associated with picnics, parades, and other outdoor activities. However, it is also a somber occasion, marked by remembrance services and visits to cemeteries and memorials. It also serves as a reminder of the cost of war and the importance of peace. Join us as we explore the fascinating history and traditions of this important day of remembrance.
Memorial Day Began as a Civil War Response
Memorial Day was meant to honor the carnage of the Civil War. There were several spontaneous memorials to the dead because of the huge loss of life.
Women from Boalsburg, Pennsylvania, laid flowers on the battlefield during Gettysburg in 1864. The next year, a group of women decorated soldiers’ graves in Vicksburg, Mississippi.
In two years, women laid flowers on Union and Confederate graves in Columbus, Mississippi. In Carbondale, Illinois, 219 Civil War veterans marched to Woodlawn Cemetery for a ceremony commemorating the fallen. Union hero Major General John A Logan spoke at the ceremony. A memorial day ceremony, organized by the community, was held in Carbondale for the first time on Memorial Day.
The first community service was held in Waterloo, New York, on May 5, 1866. Despite many claims, the “birthplace of Memorial Day” was Waterloo, which won congressional recognition.
Before World War I, Decoration Day Recognized Civil War Fallen Soldiers
Many American traditions are rooted in the First World War, including Veterans Day and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. These traditions could be overlooked because of the Revolutionary War, Civil War, World War II, and the Vietnam War.
In addition, World War I changed how Americans celebrated Decoration Day, later known as Memorial Day. In addition, this was the first war fought entirely on foreign soil and the first major conflict since the Civil War. A total of 116,000 Americans lost their lives during World War I, according to PBS.
Memorial Day Began With Major General John A. Logan
General Logan also represented an organization of Union veterans, the Grand Army of the Republic, at the Carbondale gathering. General Order No. 11, issued on May 5, 1868, and May 30, 1868, was designated as the day for “spreading flowers on the graves of comrades who died defending the country during the late rebellion.” Specifically, the order stipulated that the observance should continue “as long as there is a survivor to honor his deceased comrades.”
The First Memorial Day Was Called Decoration Day
Since graves were decorated with flowers, wreaths, and flags for many years, the holiday was called Decoration Day. “Memorial Day” originated in 1882, but the old name did not disappear entirely until after World War II. “Memorial Day” became an official federal holiday only in 1967.
There Was No Official Memorial Day Until 1968
It was Memorial Day that replaced Decoration Day in the 1960s. Memorial Day was not recognized as a federal holiday despite several events and ceremonies across the country. Since the Uniform Monday Holiday Act was passed, this has changed dramatically.
A lot of American holidays fall on Mondays all year long. February is Washington’s Birthday (unofficially President’s Day). In May, it’s Memorial Day; in September, it’s Labor Day, in October, it’s Columbus Day; and in November, it’s Veterans Day, which was moved back to November 11.
On a certain Monday, Martin Luther King Jr. Day became one of the holidays in the 1980s. A Time story said it was intended to boost the economy through travel. Adding a paid holiday to the three-day weekend will make families more inclined to take short vacations and spend money. In the end, Memorial Day Weekend became an unofficial start to summer because of the three-day weekend and traditions such as picnics and parades.
Flowers Are the Reason That May Is a Holiday Month
Major General John A. Logan, the leader of the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of Union vets, declared the holiday in May 1868. The Civil War had ended three years ago. This particular date was chosen partly because it did not coincide with any particular battle anniversary. The fact that flowers would bloom all over the country also led many people to believe that he had decided on that date. The VA.gov website indicates that there will be an abundance of flowers available to decorate graves.
On Memorial Day, Flags Are Flown at Half-Staff and Then at Full-Staff
In addition to the many traditions within communities, Memorial Day has also spawned several traditions within the government.
In honor of Memorial Day, flag etiquette has its own unique rules. According to the Gettysburg Flag, those who fly flags at sunrise should raise the flag to half-staff briskly and then lower it slowly. It is in honor of those who have lost their lives in the line of duty. A quick flag-raising should take place at noon. Those who served deserve to be saluted.
A wreath is also placed at the Unknown Soldier Tomb by the United States President on Memorial Day. Presidents have visited the hallowed site for decades to pay tribute to all those who gave their lives in service to their nation. The president will also lay a wreath and give a speech at the nearby amphitheater.
There is also the tradition of a national moment of silence. During Memorial Day, Americans will pay homage to America’s fallen soldiers for a minute at 3 p.m. local time. The National Moment of Remembrance Act passed in 2000 made the ceremony official.
Confederate Memorial Day Is Still in Some States
Some Southern states continue to observe Confederate Memorial Day, which honors the death of the Confederacy. The fourth Monday of April falls on the Alabama calendar, while the last Monday falls on the Mississippi calendar. The state of Texas celebrates Confederate Heroes Day on January 19, while the state of Tennessee celebrates Confederate Decoration Day on June 3. The day is not recognized as a state holiday by either state.
The Customs of Memorial Day Are Unique
In accordance with General Order No. 11, no formal ceremony is required, but several customs and symbols have developed over time. The flag is traditionally flown at half-staff on Memorial Day until noon, then lowered until sunset.
During World War I, John McCrae wrote the poem “In Flanders Fields,” which inspired the custom of wearing artificial red poppies on Memorial Day. In 1915, Georgia teacher and war volunteer Moina Michael created the poppy as a symbol of remembrance for veterans. Poppies have contributed significantly to the work of Veterans of Foreign Wars.
A State-By-State Holiday
A national holiday is misleading when it comes to Memorial Day. The District of Columbia and federal employees are the only ones who can observe Memorial Day, which Congress has designated as a federal holiday. Federal Memorial Day was established in 1888 to honor Civil War veterans employed by the government and thus were not paid for the day.
Most of us are subject to state-enacted holidays. During the 1870s, New York became the first to recognize Memorial Day as a legal holiday. Northern states had begun to follow suit by the 1890s. Memorial Day was not adopted in the South until after World War I when it was established. This is because the honor has been widened to honor all who died in the US wars.
Taps is a bugle call sounded at all military funerals and memorial services. The Washington Post reports that Union General Dan Butterfield became tired of the lights-out call each night in 1862. Butterfield and the brigade bugler altered the tune.
A battery commander ordered the melody played over a grave instead of the traditional three rifle volleys not long after the melody was first played. The battery’s proximity to enemy lines raised fears that the shots might ignite new fighting.
Three Generals, Two Presidents
Robert E. Lee’s plantation became Arlington National Cemetery on May 30, 1868, when a Memorial Day ceremony was held for the first time. It was a sunny spring day, and approximately 5000 people attended. President James A Garfield and Republican congressman James Garfield were among the principal speakers on that day.
Arlington National Cemetery Is Larger Than You Think
Over 400,000 graves are buried in Arlington Cemetery (a military cemetery), which covers approximately 624 acres. It was once the site of Confederate General Robert E Lee’s plantation.
Home Cooking Fires Occur More Than Often on Memorial Day
In the upcoming weekend, 62% of Americans are planning to barbeque. Unfortunately, home cooking fires occur 25% more often on Memorial Day than on an average day. Be vigilant when you are cooking over an open fire, and stay away from buildings when you are cooking. A fire extinguisher should be near you, and Never Too Hungover should be kept in your refrigerator or ice chest.
Dates of the Next Memorial Day
I show you a table with the next dates of Memorial Day until the year 2030 so that you mark it on the agenda. There is no excuse for forgetting this important date!
|DAY OF THE WEEK
|May 30, 2022
|May 29, 2023
|May 27, 2024
|May 26, 2025
|May 25, 2026
|May 31, 2027
|May 29, 2028
|May 28, 2029
|May 27, 2030
Finally I would like to invite you to take a look at the following annual calendar: 2022 Calendar and 2023 Calendar, both with or without holidays. And I invite you to read our articles that responds to the questions: How many weeks in a year?, When is Easter in 2023?, When is Mother’s Day 2023?, When is Father’s Day 2023?, When is Thanksgiving Day 2023?, When is Labor Day 2023?, When is Super Bowl 2023?Related Categories: Holidays