Memorial Day is a significant American holiday that is observed every year on the last Monday in May. It’s a day to honor and remember the brave men and women who have sacrificed their lives while serving in the United States Armed Forces. Memorial Day 2023 will fall on May 29th.
In this blog post, we’ll explore what Memorial Day is all about, the different customs and traditions associated with this day, and how you can celebrate it to honor those who have served our country. Whether you’re a first-time observer of Memorial Day 2023 or a seasoned veteran, this post will provide you with everything you need to know to make the most out of this solemn and important holiday. So, let’s get started!
What is Memorial Day?
Memorial Day is a federal holiday that is celebrated in the United States on the last Monday of May each year. This day is used to honor and remember those who have died while serving in the armed forces. It is a day to reflect on their service and to pay tribute to them for their sacrifice. The day began as Decoration Day and was first celebrated on May 30th, 1868 after the Grand Army of the Republic commander-in-chief, John A. Logan promoted it for citizens to lay flowers or decorate graves of departed veterans.
Since then, the holiday has been observed on the last Monday in May and includes memorial services, parades, flag-raising ceremonies, and religious observances across the country. In 1921 Congress officially changed Decoration Day to its current title of Memorial Day. In 1966 Congress chose Waterloo, New York as its birthplace and a wreath has been laid at the Tomb of Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery every year since 1948.
Memorial Day 2023 is not just a solemn remembrance of those who have died fighting but also marks the beginning of summer in America with picnics, barbecues, and other celebrations often taking place to mark its arrival.
Memorial Day Customs
Every year on Memorial Day, cities and towns across the United States come together to honor those who have given their lives in service to the country. This is done through parades that often include military personnel and members of veterans’ organizations, such as in Washington, D.C., New York, and Chicago where some of the nation’s largest parades take place.
Aside from these grand parades, many people choose to pay their respects in other ways, such as visiting cemeteries and memorial sites or wearing a red poppy to commemorate those fallen in war—a tradition that originated with a poem written by an American World War I veteran.
Though the day is solemn in its purpose, it also marks an unofficial start of summer for many Americans who take advantage of the long weekend with trips and barbecues—perhaps providing lightness to what would otherwise be a heartbreakingly sorrowful remembrance of our country’s heroes.
How to Celebrate Memorial Day 2023
Memorial Day is a day to remember and honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. It is an opportunity to come together as a nation and show gratitude for their service.
Here are some ways to celebrate Memorial Day 2023:
- Hold a Moment of Silence
A moment of silence is a respectful way to honor those who have passed away. You can hold a moment of silence at home alone, or you can invite family and friends to join in on the ceremony.
- Put Up Flags
Put up flags around your house or neighborhood as a symbol of patriotism and respect for those who have given their lives for our freedom.
- Visit Cemeteries and Veteran Memorials
Visiting cemeteries or memorials on Memorial Day 2023 is a great way to pay respects to the fallen heroes of our country. You can lay flowers, light candles, or simply take the time to reflect on their contributions and sacrifices.
- Participate in Parades
Participating in local parades is another great way to honor all of our heroes whose sacrifices we commemorate on Memorial Day. We often watch them in live parades, but they also happen online as virtual parades where people submit photos and videos that show how they’re celebrating this day of remembrance!
- Wear Red, White & Blue
Wearing red, white & blue clothing is another great way to show your appreciation for this day! Incorporate these colors into your wardrobe or decorations around your home—it could be anything from ribbons, party hats, or even face paint!
As Memorial Day 2023 draws to a close, it is important to remember the sacrifices and contributions of those who have served in the United States Armed Forces over the years. On this day, we honor those who have made tremendous sacrifices to protect the freedoms that we enjoy today. As we look ahead to the future, let us never forget the courage and dedication of our service members. On this Memorial Day, may their courage and spirit continue to guide us forward!