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Memorial Day

May 03, 2016

Americans celebrate Memorial Day on the last Monday in May so in 2016 it falls on May 30th. It's not just about a day off school and the beginning of summer. This holiday goes all the way back to the Civil War and is observed by millions of people - especially America's veterans. Memorial Day is a day to remember all those who died while serving their country.

A Little History

The first Memorial Day was observed on May 30th, 1866 in Columbus, Georgia by womens groups who decorated the graves of soldiers with flowers. In 1868, General John Logan (a member of the Senate at the time), officially made Memorial Day a holiday to honor soldiers who had died in the Civil War. After World War I, the holiday didn't just honor those who died fighting in the Civil War but honored all Americans who died fighting in any war. Although the majority of the country celebrates Memorial Day on the last Monday in May, some southern states celebrate it on different days.

Memorial DayMemorial Day

How to Celebrate

Since the late '50s, the 1,200 soldiers of the 3rd US Infantry put small American flags on every grave (there's 260,000 of them) at Arlington National Cemetery on the Thursday before Memorial Day. They then patrol the graveyard 24 hours a day during the weekend to make sure that every flag remains standing. On the Saturday before Memorial Day, the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts place a candle at each grave (about 15,300 of 'em) at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park on Marye's Heights. They've been doing this since 1998.

Honoring the many brave men and women who have made the ultimate sacrificeHonoring the many brave men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice

What You Can Do

  • Visit a graveyard and put a flag or flowers at a soldier's gravestone.
  • Visit a memorial.
  • Fly the US flag at half-staff until noon.
  • Participate in a National Moment of Remembrance. At 3pm have a moment of silence and think about the true meaning of Memorial Day.
  • Don't forget to play Taps, the tune played on a trumpet during Memorial services. When Taps is played with the drumbeat, Muffled Ruffles, it is the highest honor to give those who have died in war.
Have Your Say

How do you celebrate Memorial Day? Let us know in the comments below.

 

96 Comments

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What Will You Be Remembered For?

  • My mischievous sense of humor.
  • My great hair.
  • Accidently farting in class.
  • All of my charity work.

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rainbowpoptart
"DoodleCat" wrote:Oh my gosh, thanks!Well, I mainly use watercolor to draw my painting.What I draw? I like to draw what I see. It's very interesting what you can find outside or inside, for example, a coffee shop or restaurant.I also am really into drawing animals, especially my three cats. No problem. (: If you have any questions, feel free to ask, I'll be glad to help. That's very interesting. I don't know many people who use mostly watercolours. Finding inspiration from the simplest things is a part of what makes drawing, and any type of art, fun.  I can't draw animals for the life of me, haha. I'm working on it though. Do you find the textures easy? Fur seems a bit complicated. "DoodleCat" wrote:And no, I haven't done a piece with her yet, but she just flew in from Washington yesterday.She's staying in MN for three weeks, and I think I'll have the chance too though! I'd be very interested in the outcome if you do. (: 
reply 19 minutes
LILDUA
LILDUA posted in New Users:
"DoodleCat" wrote:Wow Dua, great sketch!I think if you keep that up you'll be a great artist later on!You should try watercolor in your sketches, it's very interesting. ah thanks :) .. well i have uploaded a painting which i have done with water colors.. when its approved i am gonna post it ... :)
reply 29 minutes
DoodleCat
DoodleCat posted in New Users:
Wow Dua, great sketch! I think if you keep that up you'll be a great artist later on! You should try watercolor in your sketches, it's very interesting.
reply 32 minutes
LILDUA
LILDUA posted in New Users:
it me Dua .. i really like to do sketching and painting .. gotta some sketches and painting...
reply 34 minutes
DoodleCat
DoodleCat posted in New Users:
Oh my gosh, thanks! Well, I mainly use watercolor to draw my painting. What I draw? I like to draw what I see. It's very interesting what you can find outside or inside, for example, a coffee shop or restaurant. I also am really into drawing animals, especially my three cats. And no, I haven't done a piece with her yet, but she just flew in from Washington yesterday. She's staying in MN for three weeks, and I think I'll have the chance too though!
reply 36 minutes