Memorial Day is an American holiday that commemorates all those who have died in any war in the nation's service. If you're wondering when is Memorial Day 2016 it’s relatively easy to figure out, even though the holiday doesn’t have a set date—it simply takes place on the last Monday of May every year. Memorial Day weekend is therefore a three-day weekend, as the Monday off is mandated as a holiday by the federal government, and now, all the states accept this Memorial Day date. When is Memorial Day is somewhat debated by some people, who wish to return it to its original date of May 30.
The history of Memorial Day dates back to the nineteenth century. It started out as a day of remembrance for Union soldiers who fell in the American Civil War. Initially called Decoration Day, it was a day when people would decorate the graves of fallen Northern soldiers and remember their heroic exploits. In the South, the Confederate States held their own memorial days to commemorate their fallen soldiers. Eventually, however, the two holidays merged, and what began as a remembrance of the Civil War became more of a symbol of American freedom in general. After World War I, Memorial Day became a day to remember American soldiers who had died in all wars.
Memorial Day Images
On Memorial Day weekend, people often wear artificial poppies as a remembrance of soldiers who fell. The symbolism for the poppies comes from the WWI poem by the Canadian soldier John McCrae, "In Flanders Fields," which refers to the poppies that grew on the graves of fallen soldiers in Europe. Inspired by the poem, the American professor Moina Michael wrote her own poem in response, "We Shall Keep the Faith," and vowed to wear a poppy on Memorial Day to remember the dead. Today, artificial poppies are often sold on Memorial Day and the proceeds given to support veterans of US wars.
Memorial Day History
There are some traditions and regular events that are held every year on Memorial Day weekend. At Arlington National Cemetery, soldiers place small American flags on the more than 260,000 graves of the cemetery and then stand guard around the area to ensure the flags remain standing. At 3 pm on Memorial Day, the government asks that Americans pause whatever they are doing to offer a moment of remembrance for the fallen soldiers. In some cities, there are large Memorial Day Parades, usually military-oriented, where families and friends can enjoy the holiday together. Some people regard the holiday as a day to remember deceased relatives, often visiting their graves during this time. The American flag should be flown at half-mast on this day.
Despite the somber beginnings of Memorial Day, many Americans remember when is Memorial Day simply because it is a three-day weekend that unofficially marks the beginning of the summer season. Often, families will get together to watch the local Memorial Day parade, or go for a picnic in the park or at the beach. There are car races that are held on Memorial Day 2016, such as the Indianapolis 500 and the Coca-Cola 600. In many cities, there are public concerts, such as the National Memorial Day Concert in Washington D.C., both to remember the fallen through music and just for sheer enjoyment.