Memorial Day 2010

posted by Dr. James G. Hood
Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day is an American holiday celebrated on the last Monday in May.  This year it is on May 31st.

Memorial Day was first celebrated by Americans after the Civil War to commemorate the lives of those who had died in the war.  After the first World War it was expanded to include the remembering of heroes from all US conflicts.

General John A. Logan, serving as commander-in-chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, instituted Memorial Day as a national holiday on May 5, 1868.  It was observed on May 30th of the same year and each year thereafter until 1968.

That year, Congress passed the Uniform Holidays Bill which changed the official observance of some Federal holidays from their traditional calendar dates to close-by Mondays.  In and effort to create a celebratory three-day weekend, dates were changed for President’s Day (previously Washington’s Birthday), Veterans Day, and Memorial Day.

Celebrations of Memorial Day often include visits to local cemeteries and memorials.  An annual televised concert is held in Washington DC on the west lawn of the United States Capitol building.  The Indianapolis 500 has been held on Memorial Day each year since 1911.  However, most folks simply take advantage of the three-day weekend and spend the extra vacation time at the lake, on the beach, or at one of millions of barbecues.

What are your plans for the long weekend?  Are you remembering a fallen hero in your family?  Tell us what you celebrate this memorial day!

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