Have you ever wondered about the history behind Memorial Day? We celebrate it every year, and we should understand the origins of this important holiday.
Early History & Name
In 1906, the first Memorial Day occurred when a Civil War soldier’s grave was decorated. The North, which referred to the day as “Decoration Day,” and the South both had separate rituals to commemorate the loss of life, and the services at Gettysburg National Park became well-known in 1868. Before it became known as Memorial Day, Decoration Day was used to describe this day. After World War II, Memorial Day became the more popular choice, and in 1967, the government officially changed the name.
On Memorial Day, the flag is lowered to half-staff until 12 p.m. at which time the flag is raised to full-staff. The half-staff position symbolizes the individuals who have given their lives in service to the country. When the flag is raised to full-staff, the living signify that they will continue their lost loved one’s mission to fight for for justice and liberty. Today, we celebrate Memorial Day by remembering those who have served in the armed forces, spending time with our family and friends, and feeling grateful for our continued safety and happiness.