Today is a day to remember and honor all those who lost their lives while in active service fighting for us and our Country.
Memorial Day originated from a desire to honor the deceased after the Civil War. On May 5, 1868, General John Logan, commander of the Great Army of the Republic through General Order No. 11, selected May 30 as Decoration Day.
No battles took place on May 30th, which is why General Logan chose that date at the time to honor his fallen comrades. He made clear that the purpose of the day was to remember those who had died in battle and to decorate “the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land.”
After WWI, the holiday was adjusted to honor all Americans who had died fighting in any war, not just the Civil War. In 1971 with congressional approval of the National Holiday Act, it became a federal holiday to be celebrated the last Monday in May. In December 2000, a “National Moment of Remembrance” resolution was passed. This addition marked 3 p.m. local time as a point to “voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a Moment of remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence or listening to ‘Taps.'”
For information on how memorial day differs from Veterans day, click here: Memorial Day