Towards the end of May, people in the United States observe Memorial Day. Many people visit cemeteries or places that remind them of their loved ones. BBQs and picnics are also common ways to celebrate the holiday. But there is more to Memorial Day than gatherings and summer fun.
What Is Memorial Day, and Why Do We Celebrate It?
Memorial Day is a U.S. national holiday that honors the country’s military members who died in service. The holiday offers citizens a chance to reflect on the countless individuals who served and lost their lives and come together with the families and communities left behind.
Similarly, Veterans Day and Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day honor military members. Veterans Day honors all U.S. veterans, both dead and alive, while Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day commemorates individuals who died at Pearl Harbor.
When Is Memorial Day?
Memorial Day is observed on the last Monday in May as a federal holiday in the United States. Originally, Memorial Day was held on May 30th, but the day was later changed to turn it into a 3-day weekend. To make the change, Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which took effect in 1968.
Several other countries also celebrate their own versions of Memorial Day throughout the year. For example, Israel celebrates Yom HaZikaron at the beginning of May while some Canadians celebrate Memorial day alongside Canada Day in July. Remembrance Day is a similar holiday observed in the UK and Canada as well. Other countries have unique names for their holiday, such as Anzac Day in New Zealand, which is celebrated in April.
Read more in the article “Why Is Memorial Day Important?”