We remember all those who fought for the freedom we enjoy in this United States of America
Following the end of the Civil War many communities set aside a day to mark the end of the war or as a memorial to those who had died. The first memorial day was observed in 1865 by liberated slaves who re interred the dead Union soldiers from a mass grave to individual graves, fenced in the graveyard and built an entry arch declaring it a Union graveyard. This was a daring action for them to take in the South shortly after the North's victory. On May 30, 1868, the freed slaves returned to the graveyard with flowers they had picked from the countryside and decorated the individual gravesite,thereby creating the first Decoration Day.
The official birthplace of Memorial Day is Waterloo, New York where John A. Logan helped bring attention to the event nationwide. On May 5, 1868, in his capacity as commander in chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, a veteran's organization, Logan issued a proclamation that "Declaration Day" be observed nationwide. It was observed for the first time on May 30 of the same year; the date was chosen because it was not the anniversary of a battle. The tombs of fallen Union soldiers were decorated in remembrance.
The alternative name of "Memorial Day" was first used in 1882. It did not become more common until after World War 11, and was not declared the official name by Federal law until 1967. On June 28,1968, the United States Congress passed the Uniform Holidays Bill which changed all the government holidays to a Monday. The change moved Memorial Day from its traditional May 30 date to the last Monday in May. The law took effect at the federal level in 1971.
Source:Church Sunday Magazine