On the last Monday in the month of May, Americans will have the day off work and school. Some will attend picnics or even parades, maybe take in a baseball game, go swimming, or just relax and enjoy the three-day weekend and the start of summer.
But others will get up early on their day off and go out to local cemeteries. There they will pay their respects to those American military personnel who died serving their country. In attendance at these ceremonies, there will be many veterans of the U.S. military from all generations. Officially, however, the day is set aside not so much to praise the living veterans (they are honored on Veterans Day, November 11), but rather those who died in battle or from wounds received in battle in any of America’s wars or armed conflicts.
- History of Memorial Day
From History.com, a short history on the origins of Memorial Day.
- Memorial Day Background
A history of Memorial Day and ways in which veterans are honored. From the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs.
- What Memorial Day Means to Americans
Explanation of the holiday accompanied by a photo gallery. From Share America, the U.S. Department of State’s platform for communicating American foreign policy worldwide.