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In the annals of American history, the last Monday of May holds a special place. Known today as Memorial Day, this federal holiday was initially christened as Decoration Day. The inaugural national commemoration took place at Arlington National Cemetery on May 30, 1868.


The genesis of Decoration Day is attributed to General John Logan, a general in the Union Army in the American Civil War. He selected May 30 for this observance, as it did not coincide with the anniversary of any Civil War battle. The day was designated for the purpose of decorating the graves of comrades with flowers in remembrance of those who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion.


The transition from Decoration Day to Memorial Day occurred post-World War I. The holiday expanded to pay tribute to American military members who lost their lives in all U.S. wars. The name ‚ÄėMemorial Day‚Äô gradually gained popularity over ‚ÄėDecoration Day‚Äô to honor veterans of all U.S. armed conflicts.


In 1968, President Lyndon B. Johnson officially designated the last Monday in May as 'Memorial Day’. Today, this day of remembrance continues to be a solemn occasion, honoring those who gave their lives in service to the United States.


How has the shift from Decoration Day to Memorial Day influenced our perception of this holiday? We invite you to share your thoughts on this transformation and its impact on our collective memory of those who served.



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Image: Mariia Fadeeva | Dreamstime.com

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