Observed on the last Monday in May, Memorial Day honors men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military.
Each year on Memorial Day, a national moment of remembrance takes place at 3:00 p.m. local time.
Memorial Day is first observed to honor only those lost while fighting in the Civil War, which claims more lives than any conflict in U.S. history. In addition to establishing the country’s first national cemeteries during this time, towns and cities across the U.S. begin holding local tributes to fallen Civil War soldiers, decorating their graves with flowers and reciting prayers.
The First Decoration Day
On May 5, 1862, General John A. Logan, a representative for Northern Civil War veterans, calls for a nationwide day of remembrance with these words: “The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land.” On the first Decoration Day, 5,000 Americans decorate the graves of the 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers buried at Arlington National Cemetery and General James Garfield makes a speech. By 1890, Many Northern states make Decoration Day an official state holiday; many Southern states continued to honor their dead on other days until after World War I, when the holiday evolves to commemorate American military personnel who died in all wars.
Official Birthplace of Memorial Day
In 1966 the federal government declares Waterloo, New York as the official birthplace of Memorial Day. Waterloo is chosen because Memorial Day is first celebrated there on May 5, 1866, and the town continues to host an annual, community-wide event, where businesses close and residents decorate the graves of soldiers with flowers and flags.
Custom Granite Memorial Plaques
This beautiful veteran’s memorial features two of PlaqueMaker’s custom stone memorial plaques made from .75-inch thick black granite, each with a fully personalized design. The “All Gave Some, Some Gave All” plaque is 24 inches by 24 inches and includes insignia artwork for all branches of the U.S. military. The “Taps” plaque is 24 inches by 12 inches.
“Well done, PlaqueMaker!”