Many Americans have no idea that Memorial Day exists to honor the nation’s fallen military men and women, turning to Google in droves to search for the true meaning of the holiday, data reveals.
Memorial Day occurs on the last Monday in May and marks the solemn time when Americans honor the soldiers that died in military service.
Many Americans have no idea that Memorial Day exists as a solemn time to reflect and honor the nation’s fallen military men and women.
“What is Memorial Day?” ranks near the very top of the list of Google searches related to the holiday.
America’s bewilderment about the meaning of the holiday, which is now celebrated more for kicking off summer, opening beaches and lighting barbecue grills than honoring those who sacrificed their lives for the nation.
“Why do we celebrate Memorial Day?” Americans ask. “Is Memorial Day a holiday?” they search. And between 2011 and 2013, “Is the mall open on Memorial Day?” crept into the top 10 questions searched about the holiday on the web. What is the meaning of all this? Good question, and it’s one people asked over and over again.
When the observance was first declared in 1868 by General John Logan, it was called Decoration Day in reference to a tradition of decorating the graves of those whose lives were lost in the Civil War and its set date was May 30.
In the years following World War I, the day picked up the more inclusive name Memorial Day as people began to use it as time to honor all who died in all US wars. For many, the holiday signifies the unofficial beginning of the summer season.
There is frequent confusion between Memorial Day and its companion holiday, Veterans Day. The purpose of Memorial Day is to honor those who have died in American military service, while November 11, Veterans Day, is for those who have served the US in war and survived.
Veteran derives from the Latin veteranus meaning “mature, experienced” and has been used to refer to experienced soldiers for centuries. Veterans Day was originally called Armistice Day, marking the agreement that brought an end to World War I on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918 (November 11th, 1918).
In 1954, the name of the holiday was changed to Veterans Day in the United States. However, in some parts of the world, November 11 is known as Remembrance Day.
How will you be commemorating Memorial Day?