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National Memorial day is marked and observed in the United States to honor and mourn the military personnel who have sacrificed their lives when they served their military duties in the United States Armed Forces. This Day is marked as a federal holiday in the United States and it is observed on the last Monday of May. It originated during the American Civil War when citizens placed flowers on the graves of those who had been killed in battle. National Memorial Day 2023 will be observed on the last Monday of May that is the 30th May 2023. This day was previously also known as Decoration Day. This article provides more insight about National Memorial day 2023, it’s history and significance.
History or Origin of National Memorial Day 2023
National Memorial day origin is claimed by different sources and was always a controversy leading to many debates. Nearly 25 places have claimed to have originated this holiday of National Memorial day. By the late 1860s, Americans in various towns and cities had begun holding springtime tributes to these countless fallen soldiers by placing flowers on the graves of the soldiers who sacrificed their lives for the nation was always an ancient custom. Soldiers graves were decorated in the United States during and before the American civil war itself. At Columbus [Georgia] State University there is a Center for Memorial Day Research, and the University of Mississippi incorporates a Center for Civil War Research that has also led research into Memorial Day’s origins.
The civil war came to an end in 1865. More than 620,000 soldiers died in the four-year conflict that took place. This war claimed more lives than any conflict in U.S. history and required the establishment of the country’s first national cemeteries. During this period, this day was officially announced to be celebrated by Major General John A Logan in May 30 1868. The month was selected to place flowers because that was the month when flowers would bloom all over the country. This was promoted “for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion.” He issued General Order No.11 to make this day official as decoration day to decorate the graves of the soldiers who died fighting for the nation. The first formal celebration was thus held after this announcement by placing flowers on the graves of union and confederate soldiers at Arlington National cemetery. The first celebration witnessed the presence of 5000 people. People also placed small American flags along with flowers on each soldier’s grave
For many decades the memorial day which was known as Decoration day was continued to be observed on 30th May as per the official announcement of General John Logan. The date of Decoration Day, as he called it, was chosen because it wasn’t the anniversary of any particular battle. On the first Decoration Day, General James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery, and 5,000 participants decorated the graves of the 20,000 Civil War soldiers buried there. On June 28, 1968 the Uniform Monday Holiday Act was passed by the Congress which in fact changed the date of Memorial Day from 30th May to the last Monday of May. This law came to be effective at the federal level in 1971. This same law which changed the date of Memorial Day celebration also declared Memorial Day as a federal holiday. The day has also come to signal the beginning of summer in the United States.
Significance and Objective of National Memorial Day 2023
National memorial day was originated with an intention to pay tribute to all the soldiers who sacrificed their lives for the nation. The tradition of placing flowers on the graves of the soldiers was carried out in different places across the United States.
The Objective of this day is just to remember the soldiers who fought selflessly for the Nation. This day should serve as a day wherein people gather in silence with huge respect , thus sending powerful message to the ones who lost their lives in the respectful act of theirs. It also signifies that they will always be remembered by the people of the Nation for their deeds for the nation.
To dedicate a day for the remembrance of the people with these heroic deeds is the least a person from that Nation can do to pay respect and tribute to them. A day of silence , a Day of remembrance, A day of respect is all this day can be signified as.
National Memorial Day Across the Globe
Many other countries also observe memorial day to pay tribute and respect to the fallen soldiers. Below listed are the dates and names of the day as per the observation across different countries.
- Armistice Day – November 11 – France
- Remembrance Day – November 11 – All common Wealth Nations including India
- Dodenherdenking – May 4 – Netherlands
- Memorial day – June 6 – South Korea
- National Unity and Armed Forces Day – November 4 – Italy
- Remembrance Sunday The Sunday nearest to November 11 – November 11
- Volkstrauertag – Closest Sunday to November 16 – Germany
- Sambisa Memorial Day – December 22 – Nigeria
National Memorial Day Quotes and Wishes 2023
The following are few Quotes and Wishes signifying National Memorial Day
- “I believe our flag is more than just cloth and ink. It is a universally recognized symbol that stands for liberty, and freedom. It is the history of our nation, and it’s marked by the blood of those who died defending it.” – John Thune
- “Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of a readiness to die.” – G.K. Chesterton
- ” In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” Martin Luther King, Jr.
- “My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country” John F. Kennedy
- “I have long believed that sacrifice is the pinnacle of patriotism.”– Bob Riley
- “Patriotism consists not in waving the flag, but in striving that our country shall be righteous as well as strong” – James Bryce
- “Over all our happy country over all our Nation spread, is a band of noble heroes–is our Army of the Dead.”– Will Carleton
- “Memorial Day this year is especially important as we are reminded almost daily of the great sacrifices that the men and women of the Armed Services make to defend our way of life.”Robin Hayes
- “…And if words cannot repay the debt we owe these men, surely with our actions we must strive to keep faith with them and with the vision that led them to battle and to final sacrifice.”- Ronald Reagan
- “Regard your soldiers as your children, and they will follow you into the deepest valleys; look upon them as your own beloved sons, and they will stand by you even unto death.” – Sun Tzu
National Memorial Day 2023 Celebration and Activities
- The national memorial day can be observed in the following ways
- Every year on Memorial Day a national moment of remembrance takes place at 3:00 p.m. local time.
- Americans also observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries and memorials.
- Some people wear a red poppy in remembrance of those fallen in war.
- Traditions include the laying of a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery; religious services, parades, and speeches across the United States; and the placement of flags, insignia, and flowers on the graves of veterans.
- People can look for the families that lost their loved ones by fighting for the nation. These families can be visited and respectful words can be shared with each other
- Donation can also be given to those organizations which take care of the people those are effected by the loss of their loved ones
- Schools can arrange a silent prayer to help then students also realize the importance of this day. Schools can also conduct essay writing competitions and various literacy competitions that will also help them know the lives of people who serve for Nation
- Schools can give an opportunity for the students to enhance their public speaking skills by also arranging a speech competition that will let them speak and learn more about the freedom fighters and also about different aspects of Independence and peace
- Peace and unity promoting activities can also be conducted thus helping them be tolerant towards each other.
- Institutions can arrange a visit to cemetery of soldiers and to pay tribute and honor for their selfless act
- Community can also arrange silent parade that symbolizes respect and remembrance of those who selfless fought for their Nation.
- Make a call and speak to the family members of those who lost their loved ones in such heroic deeds.
National Memorial Day Quiz 2023
Which president named Waterloo, New York as the birthplace of Memorial Day?
a) President Abraham Lincoln
b) President Lyndon Johnson
c) President Bill Clinton
d) President Teddy Roosevelt
Ans: b) President Lyndon Johnson
What is the name of the largest national cemetery ?
a) Waterloo National Cemetery
b) George Washington National Cemetery
c) Calverton National Cemetery
d) World War II National Cemetery
Ans: c) Calverton National Cemetery
What is something that is unique at the Arlington National Cemetery?
a) The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
b) The rarest flower in the world
c) Grave sites
d) A playground
Ans: a) The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
Who among the mentioned famous personality has been credited as the first to declare that shops are closed for one day to honor the soldiers coming back from the Civil War?
a) President Abraham Lincoln
b) Henry Welles
c) General Robert E. Lee
d) J.E.B Stuart
Ans: b) Henry Welles
Which organization first promoted a national holiday for decorating the graves of fallen soldiers?
a) Grand Army of the Republic
b) American Legion
c) Gold Star Wives of America
d) United Daughters of Confederacy
Ans: a) Grand Army of the Republic
What was traditionally used to decorate graves on Memorial Day when it came into practice?
a) Small American flags
b) Personal items
c) Letters of thanks
Ans: d) Flowers
Which flower is associated with Memorial Day?
b) Red Poppy
c) Cherry Blossom
Ans: b) Red Poppy
What was the original name or what was memorial Day earlier known as?
Who among the below mentioned started the tradition of wearing red poppies on Memorial Day?
a) Moina Michael
b) Dorothea Dix
c) General John McCrae
d) Florence Nightingale
Ans: c) General John McCrae
The American Civil War resulted in the creation of the country’s first ?
a) National cemeteries
b) National monument
c) National guard
d) National Security Administration
Ans: a) National cemeteries
Whom did the plantation where the Arlington National Cemetery was built belong to?
a) President Abraham Lincoln
b) Henry Welles
c) General Robert E. Lee
d) J.E.B Stuart
Ans: c) General Robert E. Lee
When was the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery established?
a) May 30, 1868
b) November 11, 1921
c) May 31, 1971
d) November 21, 1868
Ans: b) November 11, 1921
Memorial Day was originally commemorated to honor fallen soldiers of which conflict?
a) American Civil War
b) American Revolution
c) World War II
d) Mexican American War
Ans: a) American Civil War
Which state was the first to officially recognize Memorial Day?
a) New York
Ans: a) New York
Soldiers definitely are the heroes for every Nation. They deserve respect in every aspect. So let us on this special day that is the National Memorial Day take some time to pay our tribute to the heroes of our nation.
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