When Is Memorial Day 2024

When Is Memorial Day 2024, and Why Do We Celebrate It?

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Memorial Day is observed annually in May, but how many of us are genuinely informed about its significance and history? Others celebrate Memorial Day by engaging in activities such as attending seafood restaurants or shopping at stores that are open on the day or by organizing barbecues at the shore. Some observe the holiday by sharing meaningful Memorial Day quotations on social media. However, why do we participate in these activities, and what is the origin of this holiday? Prior to the Memorial Day weekend of 2023, familiarize yourself with the holiday’s significance and background. Additionally, it is important to reiterate the distinction between Memorial Day and Veterans Day.

What is Memorial Day

On Memorial Day, a federal holiday in the United States, mourning and honoring fallen members of the military who were active in the United States Armed Forces is observed. We honor and pay tribute on this day to those who made the ultimate sacrifice while safeguarding and serving our country.

When is Memorial Day?

Historically observed on May 30 from 1868 to 1970, Memorial Day has since been observed annually on the last Monday of May. This year, Memorial Day falls on which date? Memorial Day is observed on Monday, May 27, 2024.

Is Memorial Day always the last Monday in May?

Memorial Day does indeed occur on the final Monday of May. The official date of the holiday was modified to the final Monday of May in 1971, in accordance with the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. Additionally, on Mondays, other holidays, including Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Presidents Day, were consistently observed.

The history of Memorial Day

General John Logan conceived of Memorial Day, which was formerly known as Decoration Day, as a means to pay homage to the fallen soldiers of the American Civil War. On May 30, 1868, the inaugural commemoration took place at Arlington National Cemetery, where a gathering of 5,000 individuals presented floral arrangements on the graves of over 20,000 military personnel. While the prevailing opinion among experts is that General Logan strategically scheduled the inaugural Decoration Day for that day due to the blooming of flowers in northern and southern states by that time, an opposing viewpoint posits that the date was optimal as it avoided any battle anniversaries.

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At the ceremonies, numerous Washington officials, including General Ulysses S. Grant, presided. Following the addresses, children from various organizations, including the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Orphan Home, traversed the cemetery while reciting hymns, placing flowers on the graves of both Union and Confederate soldiers, and strewing savagerie. Many attendees also brought their own picnic lunches.

Not until the post–World combat I era was Memorial Day broadened to encompass all American combat veterans who lost their lives. Memorial Day was formally designated as such by Congress in 1971, when it was enacted an act designating Decoration Day as a national holiday. In the same year, President Lyndon B. Johnson rescheduled Memorial Day from May 30 to the final Monday of May. “This will… allow families separated by a considerable distance to spend more time together,” President Johnson said of the Uniform Monday Holiday Act in an official statement.

Memorial Day was initially observed as an official holiday in New York, subsequently followed by other northern states. However, in remembrance of the deceased Confederate soldiers, the southern states established their own designated day. Prior to the aftermath of World War I, when Memorial Day was renamed to commemorate fallen American soldiers in all conflicts, the two holidays remained distinct. Certain southern states continue to observe the following dates in remembrance of the Confederate dead: Texas on January 19; Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, and Georgia on April 26; North and South Carolina on May 10; and Louisiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee on June 3.

Why don’t we say “Happy Memorial Day”?

It is crucial to bear in mind the significance of the holiday before uttering the sentimental expression “Happy Memorial Day,” even if your intention is not malicious. Memorial Day is observed in remembrance of those who made the ultimate sacrifice while in the armed forces. As noted by the Code of Support Foundation, many who lost loved ones in the service observe this day with profoundly personal sentiments. There is a viewpoint that stating “Happy Memorial Day” dilutes the intended sense of honor and remembrance for the occasion, thereby casting it in a more upbeat manner. An alternative expression to “Happy Memorial Day” is provided by the Code of Support Foundation: “I wish you a meaningful Memorial Day.”


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