The History of Memorial Day

Memorial Day is a nice chance to take a long weekend and spend time in the warm spring weather with family and friends. But do you know the history of Memorial Day? At Dick Dyer Mercedes we like to take a moment each year to remember why we celebrate this day.

Memorial Day was created as a day for honoring fallen soldiers. The first Memorial Day was called “Decoration Day,” and was declared by a man known as General John Logan, the national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic during the Civil War. In 1868, three years after the war ended, General John Logan stated that this would be a day to visit the graves of fallen heroes, offering flowers and other decorations to honor their lives.

Initially, Memorial Day didn’t completely catch on. New York began officially recognizing the holiday in 1873. Following that, some other Northern states did the same. But it wasn’t until after the First World War that the country as a whole began honoring Memorial Day together. In 1971, Congress passed the National Holiday Act which officially made Memorial Day on the last Monday in May. Today, almost all of the states celebrate this holiday together, honoring the country’s fallen soldiers as well as our fallen friends and ancestors.

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