I found this information over at National Geographic News. This whole CCSS mentality has me thinking about close reading and determining ideas from the text itself rather than from teacher transmission aloud. So I took the piece and made it mine. Truth be told, I never knew why it was my parents called it Decoration Day!
Every year Memorial Day brings people together in the United States to honor service members who have died. It is always on the last Monday in May. Since it began after the Civil War, the holiday has changed considerably and now may be best known as the start of summer vacation season.
Memorial Day was started as way to heal a divided nation after the Civil War. At the time, that holiday was known as Decoration Day because people decorated graves of soldiers who died in defense of their country. Since World War I, the holiday has gathered the nation together to honor all men and women who've lost their lives in conflict, from the American Revolution to the present day battles in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Over the decades the name of the holiday has shifted as well, with Memorial Day gradually becoming the common moniker. Now in cemeteries across the United States veterans and citizens alike hold ceremonies, and the graves of the fallen are adorned with flowers and U.S. flags.