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A Guide to Memorial Day

The Memorial Day holiday is a permanent fixture in the calendar that for many marks the start of summer. Officially, Memorial Day falls on the last Monday of May each year, but is nationally observed on the the Monday following to create a 3-day holiday weekend.

Memorial Day was first observed on May 30, 1868. It was instituted by proclamation of General John A. Logan to honor the fallen in the Civil War. The day, which was originally known as Decoration Day, involved flowers and other memorials being placed at the graves of Civil War soldiers.

Following World War I, Memorial Day began to encompass remembrance of those who lost their lives in all of America's wars. This practice is still observed today.

Memorial Day in the Present Era

Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia is the national focus for Memorial Day in its current form. Every year on on the last Sunday of May a ceremony commemorating America's war dead takes place. Traditionally, the President or Vice-president issues a speech in honor of those who gave their lives to defend America and its people, and a wreath is laid at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in the cemetery.

All around the US, Memorial Day ceremonies follow Arlington's lead. Respect for those who have protected us right up through to the present day conflicts is demonstrated by the laying of memorials at their graves.

To commemorate Memorial Day this year why not honor our fallen soldiers with your own special Memorial Day memorial. Many families take advantage of the time preceeding Memorial Day to place an order for a grave marker or headstone for their loved one. This gives them the opportunity to visit a grave that is marked with a beautiful permenant memorial. Memorial ideas can be found at Everlife Memorials.com.