What is the meaning behind celebrating Memorial Day?
We all love celebrating holidays, the picnics, family gatherings, great food, days off of work or school. But what is the meaning behind Memorial Day?
Memorial Day is a US Federal holiday wherein the men and women who died while serving in the US Armed Forces are remembered. The holiday, which is celebrated every year on the final Monday of May,was formerly known as Decoration Day and originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the Union and Confederate soldiers who died in the Civil War. By the 20th century, Memorial Day had been extended to honor all Americans who have died while in the military service. It typically marks the start of the summer vacation season, while Labor Day marks its end.
Many people visit cemeteries and memorials, particularly to honor those who have died in military service. Many volunteers place an American flag on each grave in national cemeteries.
Annual Decoration Days for particular cemeteries are held on a Sunday in late spring or early summer in some rural areas of the American South, notably in the mountains. In cases involving a family graveyard where remote ancestors as well as those who were deceased more recently are buried, this may take on the character of an extended family reunion to which some people travel hundreds of miles. People gather on the designated day and put flowers on graves and renew contacts with kinfolk and others. There often is a religious service and a “dinner on the ground,” the traditional term for a potluck meal in which people used to spread the dishes out on sheets or tablecloths on the grass. It is believed that this practice began before the American Civil War and thus may reflect the real origin of the “memorial day” idea.
Memorial Day is not to be confused with Veterans Day; Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving, while Veterans Day celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans
For many Americans, the central event is attending one of the thousands of parades held on Memorial Day in large and small cities all over the country. Most of these feature marching bands and an overall military theme with the National Guard and other servicemen participating along with veterans and military vehicles from various wars.
One of the longest-standing traditions is the running of the Indianapolis 500, an auto race which has been held in conjunction with Memorial Day since 1911.It runs on the Sunday preceding the Memorial Day holiday. The Coca-Cola 600 stock car race has been held later the same day since 1961.
We here at Tropical Beach Resorts love to celebrate holidays, and we love celebrate them with you and your family. So pack up the car and the kids and head to Siesta Key! Have a safe and happy Memorial Day long weekend!Kyna Smith Tropical Beach Resorts 6717 Sarasea Circle Sarasota, FL 34242 800-235-3493 www.tropicalbeachresorts.com
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