Memorial Day is celebrated every year on the final Monday of May and is a time to remember and honor the men and women who gave their lives in service to our Armed Forces.
The holiday was formerly known as Decoration Day, which originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the fallen Union and Confederate soldiers. By the 20th century, it had been extended to honor all Americans who died in military service.
Watch a slideshow of Memorial Day photos from WeatherBug users (note, the slideshow will play music, so adjust your speaker volume):
Here are some interesting facts on Memorial Day:
- While there are many differing views on the geographic origin of the holiday, Congress settled the issue in 1966 by declaring Waterloo, New York, as the birthplace of Memorial Day.
- President James A. Garfield was the first president to speak on Memorial Day — then Decoration Day — while he was both a Civil War General and Republican Congressman. On May 30, 1868, he spoke at Arlington National Cemetery, saying: “If silence is ever golden, it must be beside the graves of 15,000 men, whose lives were more significant than speech, and whose death was a poem the music of which can never be sung.“
- President Bill Clinton signed the “National Moment of Remembrance Act” on December 28, 2000, which declared 3:00 p.m. local time on Memorial Day to be the National Moment of Remembrance each year.
- Nine states officially set a day to honor those who lost their lives fighting for the Confederacy in the Civil War. These states are: Texas, South Carolina, North Carolina, Alabama, Virginia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and Georgia. The dates of the celebrations vary from state-to-state, and Virginia is the only state that observes Confederate Memorial Day on the same day as Memorial Day.
- According to estimates by the American Automobile Association, 36.1 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more over Memorial Day weekend this year. Roughly eight in 10 travelers will be traveling by car.
WeatherBug remembers and thanks all veterans, present and past, who gave their lives to protect our freedom and liberty. God bless America!
Always remember. Know Before™.
-The WeatherBug – Earth Networks Team