Memorial Day 2023: Meaning, Day and Date, Significance, Celebration

Memorial Day is observed every year on the last Monday of May. In 2023, it will fall on May 29. In United States, it is observed as a federal holiday and honors the military personnel who have fought and died while serving in the armed forces. Earlier, Memorial Day used to be observed on May 30 but was later changed to the last Monday of May. The day is observed with a ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery in which a small American flag is placed on each grave. There is also a tradition where the President or Vice President lays a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Follow the post to learn more details about Memorial Day 2023.

Memorial Day 2023 Date

Below mentioned are the upcoming dates for Memorial Day for the next 5 years.

Memorial Day 2023May 29, 2023Monday
Memorial Day 2024May 27, 2024Monday
Memorial Day 2025May 26, 2025Monday
Memorial Day 2026May 25, 2026Monday
Memorial Day 2027May 31, 2027Monday

Memorial Day Meaning and Overview

EventMemorial Day 2023
DateMay 29, 2023
Declared byJohn A. Logan (commander in chief of the Grand Army of the Republic)
Observed byUnited States
Meaning and Purpose of celebrationTo honor the military personnel who fought and died while serving in the US armed forces.

Significance of Memorial Day

During the American Civil War, citizens started placing flowers on the graves of those killed in the battle. Since then, Memorial Day has been observed by different names and on different dates all across the United States. It honors and remembers those who sacrificed their lives in the service to the nation. Memorial Day is a day of both celebration and grief, honoring the heroes and at the same time reflecting on their tragic loss. The main objective of Memorial Day is to reach out in support of all the soldiers and their families who have sacrificed so much for the country and its people. In addition to this, this national holiday marks the unofficial start of the summer season.

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Memorial Day- Earlier Celebrations

More than a half dozen places all over the US claims to be the birthplace of Memorial Day. For instance, in 1864 three women in Pennsylvania are said to have decorated the graves of loved ones who died during the Civil War. They later returned in July 1865 along with some fellow citizens for a more general commemoration. Another observation took place in May 1865 in Charleston, South Carolina and in 1866, Columbus, Mississippi, held a formal observance for both Union and Confederate dead. Other than this Waterloo, New York, was also cited as the birthplace of Memorial Day observation.

In 1868 John A. Logan, the commander in chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, promoted the celebration of a national holiday on May 30. Many Union memorial traditions that celebrated the holiday on different days merged to celebrate Memorial Day to honor all Americans who fought and died while in the US military service.

Origin of Memorial Day Celebration

Memorial Day was initially established as Decoration Day, three years after the Civil War ended. It was first observed on May 5, 1868 by the head of an organization of Union veterans, the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR). Later, Maj. Gen. John A. Logan declared May 30 as the day of celebration. The first major celebration was held that year at Arlington National Cemetery, Washington, DC. In 1971, the Uniform Monday Holiday Act was passed by the Congress that established Memorial Day to be commemorated on the last Monday of May.

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How is Memorial Day celebrated?

Memorial Day is observed traditionally by laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery. Flowers, flags and insignia are also placed on the graves of veterans in local cemeteries. These celebrations are accompanied by religious services, parades and speeches nationwide. Various towns and cities nationwide host grand Memorial Day parades every year that features senior veterans and military personnel.

You can celebrate the day by visiting a former battlefield and paying your respect to the departed soldiers. Networks such as NPR and PBS broadcast the Memorial Day concert held near the US Capitol. The concert includes a lot of music and pays tribute to the men and women who have fought valiantly to keep the country safe. You can take your children to the parades and meet with the senior veterans and military personnel or visit a veteran’s home. You could also bring some food items such as cookies to show your appreciation. On Memorial Day at 3 pm everyone will pause and think about the fall soldiers.

State-wise Confederate Observation

Many Southern states celebrate their own days to honor the Confederate dead. For example, Alabama celebrates its Confederate Memorial Day on the fourth Monday of April, while Mississippi on the last Monday of April. In North and South Carolina it is observed on May 10, April 26 in Georgia and June 3 in Louisiana. Texas celebrates Confederate Heroes Day on January 19 and in Virginia it falls on the last Monday in May.


When will be the next Memorial Day celebrated?

May 29, 2023

Why do we observe Memorial Day?

Memorial Day is observed in the honor of the military personnel who have fought and died while serving in the US armed forces.

Is there any holiday on the occasion of Memorial Day?

Yes, Memorial Day is observed as a public holiday all across the nation.

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