Memorial Day is a day set aside to remember the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. Originally known as Decoration Day, it first was recognized after the American Civil War to commemorate the Union and Confederate soldiers who died during that conflict. By the 20th century Memorial Day had been extended to honor all Americans who have died while in the military service of the United States.
Traditionally on Memorial Day, the flag of the United States is raised briskly to the top of the staff and then solemnly lowered to the half-staff position, where it remains only until noon. It is then raised to full-staff for the remainder of the day.
The half-staff position remembers the more than one million men and women who gave their lives in service of their country. At noon, their memory is raised by the living, who resolve not to let their sacrifice be in vain, but to rise up in their stead and continue the fight for liberty and justice for all.
Many citizens visit cemeteries and memorials to honor those who have died in military service. A number of volunteers place an American flag on each grave in national cemeteries.
We give honor to all the brave men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.