MAY 24, 2018, Memorial Day represents a day of national awareness and reverence, honoring the military men and women who gave their lives in defense of the nation and its values.
Memorial Day honors fallen service members while Veterans Day is an opportunity for Americans to publicly recognize living military veterans.
Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day. It was first widely observed on May 30, 1868, to commemorate the sacrifices of Civil War Soldiers and a day to honor the nation’s Civil War dead by decorating their graves. Maj. Gen. John A. Logan, commander-in-chief, Grand Army of the Republic, proclaimed May 30 as Decoration Day by General Order No. 11.
The Uniform Monday Holiday Act moved Memorial Day from May 30 to the last Monday in May. The law took effect in 1971 at the federal level. In 2000, Congress established the National Moment of Remembrance on Memorial Day.
What has the Army done/ is doing?
The Army honors, remembers, and recognizes the ultimate sacrifice made by the fallen service members. The Army will join the nation in observing Memorial Day by participating in and hosting remembrance ceremonies, pausing for a moment of silence, visiting memorials, and placing American flags at gravesites.
Known as “Flags-In”, Soldiers from the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) place small American flags at every grave marker at Arlington National Cemetery before Memorial Day and remove them the day after.
What continued efforts does the Army have planned?
The Army will continue to care for survivors and Families of the fallen heroes, as the nation owes them a debt of eternal gratitude. The Army is committed to providing ongoing support to surviving Family members. Survivor Outreach Services provides supportive counseling, financial education, benefits coordination, and support groups for Family members at the garrison and surrounding areas.
Why is this important to the Army?
The Army honors the memory of those who served before and vows to carry on the legacy of the excellence of American Soldiers.
Memorial Day is a call for the Army and the nation to remember, recognize, and honor the ultimate sacrifice made by fallen Soldiers. It is an opportunity to remember their lives, their courage, their legacy, and their service. Memorial Day is a time for those in uniform to reaffirm their commitment to selfless service.
Provided by the Office of Assistant Chief of Staff for Installation Management