What is Memorial Day? - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

What is Memorial Day?

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Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day, a day to remember past and present American soldiers and their sacrifices and contributions to the United States.

The US Memorial Day website says Memorial Day was officially declared by General John Logan, the national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic on May 5, 1868 and the first observance was May 30, 1868 when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.

According to the website the first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873, and by 1890 most northern states were recognizing Memorial Day as an official holiday.

The US Memorial site says that over the years the meaning of Memorial Day has changed over the years but the overall message still remains the same, to support and remember all of our American soldiers.

The National Moment of Remembrance was passed in December 2000 and it asks for all Americans at 3 p.m., "To voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a Moment of remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence.

For more information on Memorial Day and how it started click here.