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Memorial Day

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  • Is Decoration Day an official holiday?

  • But Decoration Day was not an official holiday. May 30 was a day touted by the Grand Army of the Republic, an association of Union Civil War veterans, as an official day of remembrance for people across the country. The idea was to honor the war’s dead by decorating the graves of Union soldiers.

  • What is Decoration Day and how did it start?

  • Many cities and small towns also held ceremonies or parades on Decoration Day, similar to those held on Memorial Day. Decoration Day officially began three years after the end of the Civil War in 1868. An organization of Union soldiers, the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR), established the holiday.

  • Is it Decoration Day or Memorial Day?

  • The calendar reads Memorial Day, but in parts of the rural South, residents know it as Decoration Day. Memorial Day for most Americans is a day set aside to honor fallen American veterans, but the holiday itself has its origins in the pre-Civil War South when families, and even whole churches, honored the dead in late spring or early summer.

  • Is Decoration Day still celebrated in the south?

  • Parts of the rural South still celebrate Decoration Day in its traditional southern form.

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