Memorial Day

Michael Sutherland, Web Services Librarian

Falling on the final Monday in May, Memorial Day honors all Americans who have died while in military service. Formerly known as Decoration Day, Memorial Day originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the Union and Confederate soldiers who died during the Civil War. Not to be confused with with Veteran’s Day, Memorial Day is a day to remember the courageous women and men who have died while serving, while Veteran’s Day celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans. Memorial Day has been an official federal holiday since 1971.

It also typically marks the beginning of summer and many traditional events take place over the weekend, such as parades, concerts, and swimming pool openings. One longstanding tradition, for instance, is the running of the Indianapolis 500 on the preceding Sunday, which has been held in conjunction with Memorial Day since 1911. Many Americans visit cemeteries and memorials to honor those who have died with wreath laying ceremonies and to mark grave sites with American flags, such as the wreath laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, attended by ceremonial units from the uniformed services and sometimes the President or his designee.

In observance of Memorial Day, the Calvin T. Ryan Library will be closed for the weekend, May 24th through the 26th. The library will reopen Tuesday, May 27 at 7:30 a.m. for regular summer hours. We wish everyone a safe and enjoyable holiday weekend!

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