Memorial Day is observed on the last Monday of May. It was formerly known as Decoration Day for remembering the people who died while serving in military service. Many people visit cemeteries and memorials on Memorial Day and volunteer place an American flag on each grave in national cemeteries, and it is traditionally seen as the start of the summer season which will be held on May 28 this year.
Memorial Day is a federal holiday as all non-essential Government offices, schools, businesses, and other organizations are closed. Most public transit systems do not run on their regular schedule, so many people see Memorial Day weekend as an opportunity to go on a short vacation or visit family or friends which cause some congestion on highways and at airports.
At first, this day is started as an event to honor Union soldiers who had died during the American Civil War. It was inspired by the way people in the Southern states honored their dead. After World War I, it was extended to include all men and women who died in any war or military action.
Memorial Day used to be held on May 30, regardless of the day of the week, on which it fell. In 1968, the Uniform Holidays Bill was passed as part of a move to use federal holidays to create three-day weekends. This meant that, from 1971, Memorial Day holiday had been officially observed on the last Monday in May. However, it took a more extended period for all American states to recognize the new date.
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