Memorial Day is a national holiday celebrated on the last Monday of May. It was originally a day to honor the dead of the Civil War by decorating their graves and was known as Decoration Day. In 1966 President Lyndon Johnson designated Waterloo, NY as the birthplace of Memorial Day because starting back in 1866 the town had made the day an annual event where businesses closed and soldiers' graves were decorated with flags and flowers. Memorial Day is a day to honor all veterans who have given their lives in America's wars. At Arlington National Cemetary, a certain unit called The Old Guard place American flags one foot and centered, in front of the gravestones and columbarium niches of every service member. This tradition is called "Flags-In".
Each one of us can participate in a "National Moment of Remembrance" at 3:00 PM local time wherever you are to reflect on the true meaning of the day, a congressional resolution passed in 2000. We might also think about our ancestry and family history as we perhaps gather with relatives for a family picnic or a Memorial Day parade. And be sure to fly your American flag, although it should be at half-staff until noon.