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Memorial Day

Each year on the last Monday in May, the Defense Department joins the nation in honoring service members who lost their lives in defense of the nation, and mourns with their families.

What is Memorial Day?

Observed on the last Monday in May, Memorial Day is an annual day of remembrance to honor all those who died in service to the U.S. during peacetime and war. Many people visit cemeteries and memorials, and volunteers place American flags on graves at national cemeteries. A national moment of remembrance takes place at 3 p.m. local time. 76 Years of 'Flags In'

It’s Not the Same as Veterans Day

While Memorial Day honors those who gave the ultimate sacrifice, Veterans Day — November 11 — celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans. The day is largely intended to thank living veterans for their service, to acknowledge that their contributions to national security are appreciated, and to underscore the fact that all who served — not only those who died — have sacrificed and done their duty. Veterans Day Spotlight

Memorial Day Used to be Decoration Day

The observance began as Decoration Day when flowers were placed on graves of the fallen, with the first national celebration held at Arlington National Cemetery, May 30, 1868. At the turn of the century, it was designated as Memorial Day. In 1971, federal law changed the observance to the last Monday in May. Flowers of Remembrance



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