Memorial Day represents a day of national awareness and reverence, honoring the military men and women who gave their lives in defense of the nation and its values. Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day. It was first widely observed on May 30, 1868, to commemorate the sacrifices of Civil War Soldiers and a day to honor the nation’s Civil War dead by decorating their graves. Maj. Gen. John A. Logan, commander-in-chief, Grand Army of the Republic, proclaimed May 30 as Decoration Day by General Order No. 11. The Uniform Monday Holiday Act moved Memorial Day from May 30 to the last Monday in May. The law took effect in 1971 at the federal level. In 2000, Congress established the National Moment of Remembrance on Memorial Day.
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