Originally called Decoration Day, it's a day of remembrance for the men and women who died serving the United States. More than two dozen towns claim to be the originator of Memorial Day. In 1996, President Lyndon Johnson officially declared Waterloo, NY as the birth place, but it's impossible to prove the origin of the day. It was originally started to honor the dead of the Civil War.
That being said, Memorial Day became a National Holiday and celebrated on the 30th of May in 1868. Its purpose was to decorate the graves of our men and women who died in defense of their country. The date of May 30th was chosen because it wasn't an anniversary of any particular battle.
General James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery on the first Decoration Day and more than 5000 participants decorated the graves of 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers buried there.
By 1890 Decoration Day was recognized by all of the northern states, but the sout refused to acknowledge the day until after World War 1.
Congress passed a bill in 1971 changing the date from May 30th to the last Monday in May.
Let's all take a minute from our celebrations to remember the true meaing of the day.
Thank you to our men and women who serve our country in the past, present and future.