Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer, but the holiday is about more than just backyard cookouts and community parades.
Observed on the last Monday of May, Memorial Day honors the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Memorial Day 2022 will occur on Monday, May 30.
The Civil War, which ended in the spring of 1865, claimed more lives than any conflict in U.S. history and required the establishment of the country’s first national cemeteries. Originally known as Decoration Day, Memorial Day originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971.
On May 5, 1868, General John A. Logan, leader of an organization for Northern Civil War veterans, called for a nationwide day of remembrance later that month. “The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land,” he proclaimed.
Memorial Day is observed with the laying of a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia, and by religious services, parades, and speeches nationwide. Flags and flowers are placed on the graves of veterans in local cemeteries.
Military Funeral Honors ceremony is offered at Tezak Funeral Home for military members who served on active duty. Veteran headstones and burial flags are also made available.
On Memorial Day, consider visiting cemeteries and placing flags or flowers on the graves of our fallen heroes. Attend a local Memorial Day ceremony, or simply thank a veteran for their service to commemorate the holiday this year.
Tezak’s Home to Celebrate Life: 1211 Plainfield Rd., Joliet, IL 60435, 815-722-0524. www.tezakfuneralhome.com