Many celebrate the long Memorial Day weekend with barbecues and family get-togethers, but Memorial Day is so much more than a chance to kick off the summer months. At its heart, Memorial Day is a day to solemnly honor all men and women who have died in U.S. military service. Read on to learn more about the true meaning of Memorial Day, as well as some interesting Memorial Day facts and Memorial Day history.
When is Memorial Day 2021?
This year, Memorial Day falls on May 31, 2021. Memorial Day is always the last Monday in May.
Memorial Day Meaning and Memorial Day History
Memorial Day commemorates all men and women who have died in U.S. military service. It’s not to be confused with Veterans Day, which celebrates the service of U.S. military veterans, or with Armed Forces Day, which honors men and women currently in service.
Memorial Day began a few years after the Civil War, in 1868. An organization of Union veterans established the holiday, then known as Decoration Day, as a time to decorate the graves of fallen soldiers with flowers. From then until the present day, the solemn holiday has been formally observed at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C.