As we approach this weekend, many of us will have Monday, May 25th off in celebration of Memorial Day. The extended weekend is always a great opportunity to gather with friends and family, grill out, rest, and enjoy the days. And while all of these things are important, the holiday is about so much more than just an extra day off.
Memorial Day is a United States Federal Holiday honoring those who have died while serving in our country’s armed forces. Just as we individually honor the anniversaries of our loved ones who have passed, Memorial Day provides us the opportunity, as a nation, to collectively remember those who died protecting the liberties we hold so dear.
The holiday was born out of the Civil War as a desire to honor the dead. Originally called Decoration Day, it was officially proclaimed on May 5, 1868, and has been observed annually in May each year since. However, it wasn’t until 1971 that it was officially declared a national holiday by an Act of Congress.
In addition to becoming a national holiday, and to ensure the sacrifices of America’s fallen are never forgotten, in December of 2000, US Congress passed and the president signed into law “The National Moment of Remembrance” law. The National Moment of Remembrance encourages all Americans to pause wherever they are at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day Monday for a minute of silence to remember and honor those who have died in service to the nation. As Moment of Remembrance founder Carmella LaSpada stated, “It’s a way we can all help put the memorial back in Memorial Day.”
We hope everyone enjoys a safe and happy holiday weekend with loved ones, and we encourage you to make “A Moment of Remembrance” a part of your Memorial Holiday.