It’s Memorial Day in the US.
“The time 3 p.m. was chosen because it is the time when most Americans are enjoying their freedoms on the national holiday,” according to the White House Commission on Remembrance. Congress established the National Moment of Remembrance.
“The Moment does not replace traditional Memorial Day events; rather it is an act of national unity in which all Americans, alone or with family and friends, honor those who died for our freedom,” the Commission on Remembrance said on its Web site.
“It will help to reclaim Memorial Day as the sacred and noble holiday it was meant to be. In this shared remembrance, we connect as Americans.”
You’ll see bservances via an interruption of Major League Baseball games; the pausing of the National Memorial Day Parade in Washington; and the National Grocers Association and Food Marketing Institute asking shoppers to pause in stores nationwide to remember the fallen.
A bit of history on the subject of Memorial Day…
Three years after the Civil War ended, on May 5, 1868, the head of an organization of Union veterans [the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR)] established Decoration Day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. Major General John A. Logan declared that Decoration Day should be observed on May 30. It is believed that date was chosen because flowers would be in bloom all over the country. The first large observance was held that year at Arlington National Cemetery, across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C.
In 1971, Memorial Day was declared a national holiday by an act of Congress, though it is still often called Decoration Day. It was also placed on the last Monday in May at that time.
To ensure the sacrifices of America’s fallen heroes are never forgotten, in December 2000, Congress passed and the President signed into law theNational Moment of Remembrance Act – Public Law 106-579 (.PDF document), creating the White House Commission on the National Moment of Remembrance. The National Moment of Remembrance was created to encourage all Americans to pause wherever they are at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day for a minute of silence to remember and honor those who have died in service to the nation.
For additional information and safety tips on making your Memorial Day a fun and safe holiday, please visit the USA.gov Memorial Day web page.
What are your plan for the day?