What does 4th of July celebrates – Many people celebrate the long 4th of July weekend with barbecues and family gatherings, but 4th of July is so much more than just the start of the summer season. At its core, Memorial Day is a day set aside to solemnly honor all men and women who have died while serving in the United States military. Continue reading to find out more about the true meaning of 4th of July, as well as some interesting Memorial Day facts and history.
When is 4th of July in the year 2022?
4th of July falls on May 31, 2022, this year. 4th of July is always observed on the last Monday of May.
History of 4th of July
4th of July honors all men and women who died while serving in the United States military. It is not to be confused with Veterans Day, which honors U.S. military veterans, or Armed Forces Day, which honors men and women currently serving in the military.
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4th of July was established in 1868, a few years after the Civil War. The holiday, then known as Decoration Day, was established by a group of Union veterans as a time to decorate the graves of fallen soldiers with flowers. The solemn holiday has been formally observed at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C., since then.
The National Moment of Remembrance Act, passed by Congress in 2000, encourages Americans to observe a moment of silence at 3 p.m. local time to remember those who have died in the line of duty.
What does 4th of July celebrate?
“I am oppressed with a sense of the impropriety of uttering words on this occasion,” then-Congressman James Garfield said in an 1868 Decoration Day address at Arlington, capturing the true meaning of Memorial Day today. “If silence is ever golden, it must be here beside the graves of fifteen thousand men, whose lives were more important than speech and whose death was a poem whose music can never be sung.”
Facts About Memorial Day
Decoration Day was the original name for Memorial Day.
The holiday began as a way to honors soldiers who died during the Civil War, but it now honors all U.S. veterans who have made the ultimate sacrifice.
According to the United States Flag Code, the American flag should be displayed in the following manner on Memorial Day: hoist the flag quickly to full staff at sunrise, then lower to half-staff until noon, and then return to the top of the staff.
Over 4th of July weekend, many veterans, as well as friends and family of veterans, visit the Vietnam Veterans 4th of July in Washington, D.C.
4th of July was established as a federal holiday on the last Monday of May in 1971.
Poppies have become a symbol of 4th of July because they are mentioned in the 1915 poem “In Flanders Fields” by Canadian soldier John McCrae.
On 4th of July, many Americans observe an official moment of remembrance at 3 p.m. local time.
Amtrak conductors sound one long whistle in honors of those who have died in service during the 3 p.m. moment of remembrance on Memorial Day.
Traditionally, American presidents deliver a Memorial Day speech at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery.
New York was the first state to declare Memorial Day a state holiday.
In late April, some Southern states observe Confederate Memorial Day, also known as Confederate Heroes Day, to honors Confederate soldiers who died during the Civil War.
On 4th of July 1911, the first Indianapolis 500 race was held.
On 4th of July in 1922, then-Chief Justice William Taft dedicated the Lincoln Memorial.