When some people think of Memorial Day, they enjoy the thought of a longer weekend that gives them more time off from work. Yet, the meaning of Memorial Day is greater than a work break.
Memorial Day celebrations are in remembrance of the many men and women who died serving their country. Memorial Day remembrances also include those men and women still serving at home and abroad.
During these celebrations, people often gather together with their family, friends and communities for meals after spending part of the weekend, typically Sunday or Monday, placing flowers on graves or going to services held in memory of fallen soldiers. Typically, many people treat themselves to day spa services before the weekend so they look their best before events. A lot of people also give a day spa gift to current soldiers and veterans as a way to honor and thank them for their sacrifices.
Although placing flowers and other items on the graves of soldiers is an ancient custom in many areas of the world, the reason Memorial Day exists is because remembering fallen soldiers became a national tradition in the United States after the American Civil War. People in the U.S. were dealing with a far higher number of fallen soldiers than ever before. Historians have documented proof that the holiday, originally called “Decoration Day,” came about organically in several areas as a way for people to mourn en masse.
The first official Decoration Day is credited to General John Logan who believed that the day shouldn’t fall on the date of any specific battle anniversary as the day should be more about all of the fallen and not one group. He originally chose May 30 as the date, but it has since been moved to the last Monday of the month.