MEMORIAL DAYTuesday, May 15th, 2012
Memorial Day, first enacted to honor Union and Confederate soldiers following the American Civil War, was extended after World War I to honor Americans who have died in all wars. Memorial Day often marks the start of the summer vacation season. Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on May 5, 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic. The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. It is now celebrated in almost every State on the last Monday in May. Another tradition is to fly the US flag at half-staff from dawn until noon local time. One of the longest-standing traditions is the running of the Indianapolis 500, an auto race which has been held in conjunction with Memorial Day since 1911. It runs on the Sunday preceding the Memorial Day holiday. The Memorial Tournament golf event has been held on or close to the Memorial Day weekend since 1976. The National Memorial Day Concert takes place on the west lawn of the United States Capitol. Music is performed, and respect is paid to the men and women who died in war. Thank you to all our Veterans. Let freedom ring.