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Here is what you need to know about Memorial Day in the United States:

  • It was created to honor the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military.
  • It was originally called Decoration Day because every spring Americans in various towns and cities began holding springtime tributes in the local cemeteries and decorating the graves with flowers.
  • It began shortly after the Civil War ended but did not become a Federal holiday until 1971.
  • One of the earliest Memorial Day ceremonies was held by freed slaves in 1866.
  • Now it is celebrated every year on the last Monday in May.
  • Each year on Memorial Day a national moment of remembrance takes place at 3:00 p.m. local time.