Originating after the American Civil War and formally known as Decoration Day, it began as a day to commemorate the Union and Confederated soldiers who had died during the Civil War. It was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11:
Memorial Day, a United States Federal holiday, is celebrated, each year, on the last Monday in May. This day is in honor and remembrance of all men and woman who have died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.
The Wearing of Red Poppies
In 1915, inspired by the poem “In Flanders Fields,” Moina Michael conceived of an idea to wear red poppies on Memorial day in honor of those who died serving the nation during war. She was the first to wear one, and sold poppies to her friends and co-workers with the money going to benefit servicemen in need.
National Moment of Remembrance
Moment of Remembrance and Respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for
a moment of silence or listening to "Taps".
As Americans, we should resolve not to let their sacrifice be in vain,
but to rise up in their honor and continue to fight for liberty and justice for all.