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The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Memorial Day

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Memorial Day isn’t just about enjoying the warm weather, grilling outside and long weekends.  Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States for commemorating the people who have died while serving in the nation’s armed forces.  In celebration of this holiday, DiscountFilters.com will be offering a site-wide sale for the entire weekend.  From Friday the 22nd through May 25th, enjoy 10% off our entire site using coupon code ZB4WQ.

Here’s some background on the history of Memorial Day:

History

In the years following the American Civil War, the nation shared its grief as more than 600,000 American soldiers had died in battle.  The Grand Army of the Republic, an organization for veterans for Union Civil War veterans proclaimed May 30th, 1868 as “Decoration Day” to be observed in commemoration of fallen troops.decorationday5  The date was chosen because it was not the anniversary of any particular battle and according to the White House, is the optimal date for flowers to be in bloom.

The holiday grew into an established tradition for Americans and the name eventually changed from “Decoration Day” to “Memorial Day” in 1882.  After the conclusion of both World War I and World War II, the holiday became more common nationwide and was declared Federal law in 1967.  The date changed from May 30th to the last Monday in May as part of the Uniform Monday Holiday Act of 1968 which creates a three-day weekend for federal employees.

Memorial Day Traditions

Many cities across the United States celebrate Memorial Day with parades each year, often including military personnel and members of veterans’ organizations. Some of the largest parades take place in Chicago, New York, and Washington D.C. On Memorial Day the flag is raised briskly to the top of the staff and the solemnly lowered to the half-staff position until noon, and then returned to full-staff for the remainder of the day.  The half-staff position recognizes that more than one million soldiers have given their lives in service.  At noon, their memory is raised by the living, who resolve not to let their sacrifice be in vain. Americans often take this long weekend as an occasion to throw parties and barbecues to unofficially mark the beginning of summer.

So while you are outside enjoying the warm weather this weekend, remember why we celebrate this holiday and the individuals who gave their lives in service.
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