Annual Memorial Day celebrations offer chances to remember


Flyovers like this are common Memorial Day weekend in Indianapolis as Memorial Day is celebrated during the Indianapolis 500.

Arianah Bacon, staff writer

Every year on the final Monday in May, America celebrates Memorial Day. It became an officially recognized national holiday in 1971 by an Act of Congress. Prior to that it was known as Decoration Day, a day that began in 1866, the year after the Civil War ended.
Memorial Day is a day to honor those who passed away honoring the dedication of those who serve in the military. It used to be known as Day of Decoration as graves were first furnished with flowers, wreaths, and flags.
In Indianapolis, the day is celebrated live on national television as part of the pageantry that goes with the Indianapolis 500 race every May.
A Memorial Day service is typically conducted by the president or vice president of the United States, who also lays a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns, also known as the Tomb of the Unidentified Soldiers, in Arlington National Cemetery outside of Washington.
On the front lawn of Congress, the National Symphony Orchestra of the United States gives a free performance honoring the flag in the evening. At the sites of the Civil War battles, especially Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and Sharpsburg , Maryland, solemn celebrations also are held.
After the Civil War, the celebration, which was once known as Decoration Day, started as a means to remember the Union and Confederate troops who lost their lives in the fight. In 1971, Memorial Day was declared a federal holiday, and since then, Americans have observed it as a day of remembrance for all dead soldiers.
Individuals pay their respects to those who gave their lives for their country by attending ceremonies at national cemeteries. On this day, we get the chance to think back on the bravery and sacrifice of the men and women who gave their lives to protect our freedoms and way of life.
A parade, a handicraft fair, a strawberry festival, music, tours of the street’s Memorial Day Museum, and a vintage vehicle exhibit are just some of the many events taking place in Waterloo. In an open-to-the-public park, Civil War enthusiasts established camp for two nights and conducted cannon displays while wearing period attire.