By Terri Hendry
Memorial Day falls on the last Monday of May. The day is set aside each year to remember the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. It became an annual day of remembrance in 1871; a few years after the Civil War ended. Known as the "War Between the States," it ended in 1865 with a tremendous loss of life, among the bloodiest conflicts in U.S. history.
By the late 1860's, Americans began holding tributes to the fallen soldiers, decorating their graves with flowers and reciting prayers. Although historians have a tough time determining exactly when this tradition occurred,the federal government in 1966 declared Waterloo, New York the "official" birthplace of Memorial Day. That city was chosen because it hosted an annual, community-wide event, one in which businesses closed and residents decorated the graves of soldiers with flowers and flags. This is why, initially, the day become known as Decoration Day.
After World War I, Decoration Day evolved into a day to commemorate the deaths of all American military members who died in all wars. In 1968, Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, establishing Memorial Day as the last Monday in May.
Memorial Day is a solemn observance in stark contrast to its significance to some as the unofficial start of summer. When lawmakers set aside the last Monday of May for a day of national remembrance, they also declared that Monday a federal holiday, giving federal employees a three-day holiday weekend.
The annual Memorial Day ceremony at the Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Boulder City will be held on Monday, May 28, 2018 beginning at 1:00 p.m. The Flag-In event to place flags on each gravesite will be held on Saturday, May 26, 2018. Please arrive before 7:00 a.m.
In northern Nevada, the Memorial Day ceremony will be held at the Northern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Fernley on Monday, May 28, 2018 beginning at 11:00 a.m. The Flag-In event will be held on Saturday, May 26, 2018 beginning at 9:00 a.m.
Memorial Day is observed in many ways. Some visit a cemetery or memorial or participate in parades, while others host gatherings of family and friends. If you're wondering what events or gatherings are happening in your community, we've asked around the entire State for activities and events this Memorial Day.
Check here to see what's happening near you: http://veterans.nv.gov/news/199290/mark-your-calendar-may-2018