From the NFRW Armed Services Committee
Memorial Day became an official federal holiday in 1971. It is observed on the last Monday of May when we honor veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving in the U.S. military in defense of our American values and way of life. This year it is celebrated on May 29.
In 1966, the federal government declared Waterloo, New York, the official birthplace of Memorial Day. The impetus of this day of recognition can be traced back to the Civil War, a war that claimed more lives than any conflict in America’s history. Shortly afterward, tributes were celebrated in the spring in remembrance of the fallen. The leader of the Union Army’s principal veterans’ organization, General John Logan, in 1868 issued an order to observe May 30 “for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet churchyard in the land.”
Many traditions have emerged to honor these departed warriors to include decorating graves with flags and flowers and also displaying flags at our homes, parades, religious prayer services, and family picnics. Many military cemeteries will hold events with Arlington National Cemetery hosting the President of the United States for its services. On Sunday, May 28, the National Memorial Day Concert will be broadcast and livestreamed (PBS) beginning at 8 pm Eastern time. On the actual holiday, The “Rolling To Remember Rally” hosted by AMVETS will conclude with thousands of bikers riding from RFK Stadium to the National Mall to bring awareness of the issues facing our nation’s veterans.
Pray for our fallen service members and their families and be grateful for their contribution to America’s freedom.