Memorial Day 2020

Memorial Day
May 25, 2020

Photo by John Beniston (Palmiped), licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license


Memorial Day is a federal holiday for honoring and mourning the military personnel who have died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. The holiday is now observed on the last Monday of May, while previously observed on May 30th from 1868 to 1970.

Memorial Day is for honoring the fallen. Veterans Day, observed on November 11th, honors those who have served in the United States Armed Forces and correlates with Remembrance Day worldwide. Armed Forces Day, an unofficial holiday observed on the third Saturday in May, honors those currently serving in the armed forces.


Among the various parades, services, and the annual wreath-laying at Arlington National Cemetary, Memorial Day is commemorated with the poem In Flanders Fields. It was written during the First World War by Canadian physician Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae. He was inspired to write it on May 3, 1915, after presiding over the funeral of friend and fellow soldier Lieutenant Alexis Helmer, who died in the Second Battle of Ypres.


In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.




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