6 facts about Memorial Day and how to celebrate it

Walter G Arce Sr ASP Inc, Stock photo

Red, white and blue colors will span across the American landscape as flags are placed on the graves of fallen soldiers.

Red, white and blue will span the landscapes of American cities this weekend as flags are placed on the graves of fallen soldiers.

Memorial Day is a federal holiday set aside to honor the men and women who sacrificed their lives throughout the more than 200 years of war history of the nation. This year, the holiday falls on May 29.

Amid the family gatherings, barbecues and outdoor activities, Americans traditionally observe Memorial Day through ceremonies, parades and placing flowers and flags on the gravesites of family and friends.

In preparing for the day of remembrance, here are some facts and activity ideas to help make the holiday more meaningful.

Memorial Day history

The holiday was originally called “Decoration Day” and was first observed on May 5, 1868, a date chosen because it didn’t fall on the anniversary of any particular battle, according to History.com. Gen. John A. Logan, a military man and political leader, spoke at the Arlington National Cemetery. The speech was followed by 5,000 people decorating the graves of 20,000 soldiers buried there.

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