May 26, 2014 Memorial Day
Memorial Day honors the men and women who died protecting America’s freedom. Members of the American Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, Navy and National Guard are remembered and honored.
Sometimes Memorial Day is called Decoration Day. People place flowers, wreaths and flags on the graves of those who served America in times of war.
The first Memorial Day was held soon after soon after America’s Civil War ended. At its beginning, Memorial Day only honored those who died in the Civil War.
Today Memorial Day honors all United States Military personnel who died proudly serving their country.
In 1966, President Johnson recognized the birthplace of Memorial Day as Waterloo, New York. The people of Waterloo began honoring their soldiers one hundred years earlier.
Flags are lowered to half-mast to honor fallen soldiers on Memorial Day. The United States flag is flown halfway up the flagpole until noon. At noon, the flag is raised on the flagpole to show that Americans will continue to protect their nation and freedom.
Banks, schools, post office, and government offices are closed on Memorial Day.
People throw flowers into the sea to honor servicemen and servicewomen who died at sea.
Towns have parades on Memorial Day. Marching bands play patriotic songs. Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts march in parades, too.
Some families visit the cemetery together to place flowers or American flags on graves of family members or friends.
Veterans of wars also organize ceremonies honoring current and veteran servicemen and service women.