I think most of us know WHY we celebrate it. Memorial Day honors those who died in service to their country, Veterans Day honors all who served, and Armed Forces Day pays tribute to those currently serving. It seems that in recent years we have begun more and more to recognize and pay tribute to those who serve and who have sacrificed.
According to Wikipedia, the decorating of soldier's graves with flowers in an ancient custom. Around the time of the Civil War, it became more prevalent. In 1868 it was officially termed "decoration day" and I do remember my own grandparents calling it that. Doylestown, PA and Rochester, WI have held Memorial Day Parades for well over 100 years. (since 1868 and 1867, respectively)
Memorial Day became the preferred name for this day of remembrance and was declared the official name of the holiday in 1967. Traditionally it had been celebrated on May 30, but in 1968 Congress passed the 'Uniform Monday Holiday Act', moving four holidays to a Monday to grant everyone a long weekend. It took a few years for all states to comply.
(read more here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memorial_Day)
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