Burg Simpson is proud to honor our veterans and fallen heroes for their service to our country. On this day, and throughout the year, we recognize all the current and former members of the Armed Services for their courage. Our country’s greatness is built on the foundation of our soldier’s sacrifice, and we are grateful to these men and women for keeping our country safe and strong.
This American holiday, which is observed on the last Monday of May, honors the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. By the late 19th century, many communities across the United States had begun to celebrate Memorial Day, and after World War I, observers began to honor the fallen soldiers of all of America’s wars. In 1971, Congress declared Memorial Day a national holiday to be observed on the last Monday in May. Today, Memorial Day is celebrated at Arlington National Cemetery with a ceremony in which a small American flag is placed on each grave. It is customary for the president or vice president to give a speech honoring the contributions of the dead and to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. More than 5,000 people attend the ceremony annually. Each year on Memorial Day a national moment of remembrance takes place at 3:00 p.m. local time.
Several Southern states continue to set aside a special day for honoring the Confederate dead, which is usually called Confederate Memorial Day. The Civil War, which ended in the spring of 1865, claimed more lives than any conflict in U.S. history and required the establishment of the country’s first national cemeteries. By the late 1860s, Americans in various towns and cities had begun holding springtime tributes to these countless fallen soldiers by decorating their graves with flowers and reciting prayers. Waterloo—which first celebrated this day on May 5, 1866—was chosen because it hosted an annual, community-wide event, during which businesses closed and residents decorated the graves of soldiers with flowers and flags.
Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings, and participating in parades. Unofficially, Memorial Day marks the beginning of the summer season.