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Make Memorial Day Meaningful, White Plains

Memorial Day honors America's armed forces.
Memorial Day honors America's armed forces. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

A lot of Memorial Day talk centers on long weekend plans, barbecues and sales at the mall, but what do you know of the holiday's origins?

What Are You Doing For Memorial Day?
Final Results Voting Closed

What Are You Doing For Memorial Day?

  • Having friends over for a barbecue
  • Shopping for holiday sales
  • Traveling out of town
  • Relaxing with a day off
  • Going to my town's parade

According to, the holiday, originally called Decoration Day, was borne out of the Civil War and a desire to honor our dead. It was officially proclaimed on May 5, 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic. The date was chosen because it wasn’t the anniversary of any particular battle.The first Declaration Day was honored on May 30, 1868.

New York became the first state to establish Memorial Day as a legal holiday in 1873. By the end of the 19th century, many cities and towns had adopted the practice and after World War I it became a day to remember those who had died during all of America’s wars.

In 1971, Congress declared Memorial Day an official federal holiday and passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act that established the holiday as the last Monday in May to create a three-day weekend for federal employees.

Reflection continues to be at the heart of the holiday with many towns and cities hosting parades and ceremonies, many sponsored by local VFW's, police and fire departments.

Here, some other stats from WalletHub.

  • 1.3 million: Number of U.S. armed service members killed in conflict.
  • 21.8 million: The number of living veterans (as of 2014).
  • 34 million: The number of people who will travel at least 50 miles this Memorial Day, the highest level since 2005 and up 2.1 percent from 2015.
  • 7 billion: Total number of hotdogs that will be eaten. The holiday is the second most popular for grilling outdoors, ranking only behind the Fourth of July.

Go HERE f or more Memorial Day stats.

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