By: Jennifer Regan
Memorial Day is celebrated on the last Monday in May each year. The holiday is observed to remember all of the people who died while serving in the Armed Forces. The Armed Forces includes the Navy, Army, Marines, Coast Guard, and Air Force. Memorial Day was originally called “Decoration Day” after the Civil War because the graves of the deceased were decorated with flowers. In 1967 the name was changed to Memorial day.
On Memorial Day, many Americans visit cemeteries or memorials to honor those who have died. Many times an American flag is placed at the grave to show honor and respect. Another way to show respect for the millions of men and women who have given their lives for their country is to fly the American flag at half-staff, which means halfway to the top of the flagpole. The flag remains half-staff until noon to pay honor to fallen soldiers. When it is raised up at noon it symbolizes the those that are still living and fighting for our country.
Many cities and towns around the country have Memorial Day parades that include marching bands, veterans and current service men and women. Many confuse Memorial Day with Veteran's Day because both honor the Armed Forces but Veteran's Day honors those that are living and deceased.