On Memorial Day, we recognize Americans killed or wounded fighting for their country.
Memorial Day traces its roots to the years after the Civil War when an organization of Union veterans established Decoration Day as a day for the nation to adorn the graves of the war’s dead. Many southern states refused to participate for decades. They preferred Confederate observances, some of which are still marked today.
By the end of the 19th century, Memorial Day ceremonies were held across the nation on May 30. The holiday’s scope grew after World War I, when it became a day to commemorate those who died in all American wars.