When: The last Monday in May.
Memorial Day is officially celebrated on the last Monday during the month of May. Memorial Day is dedicated to service men and women who gave their lives for freedom and country. It is also a time to remember loved ones who have passed away. The roots of Memorial Day go back to 1865 and the end of the Civil War.
Memorial Day was traditionally held on the 30th of May. In 1971, Congress changed it to the last Monday in order to afford a three day holiday weekend. Regardless of the date, we encourage you to attend a parade, and to visit a cemetery to honor and remember our servicemen . Take time to remember lost loved ones in whatever way you feel appropriate.
Did you Know? Memorial Day was first called Decoration Day. It was changed to Memorial Day in 1882.
Memorial Day also marks the beginning of the gardening and summer seasons, even though summer will not occur for a few weeks later. It is usually marked by holding the first family picnic of the year.
Memorial Day Prayer
By Rev. Dick Kozelka (ret)
First Congregational Church of Minnesota
Creator of years, of centuries,
Lord of whatever is beyond time,
Maker of all species and master of all history --
How shall we speak to you
from our smallness and inconsequence?
Except that you have called us to worship you
in spirit and in truth;
You have dignified us with loves and loyalties;
You have lifted us up with your lovingkindnesses.
Therefore we are bold to come before you without groveling
[though we sometimes feel that low]
and without fear
[though we are often anxious].
We sing with spirit and pray with courage
because you have dignified us;
You have redeemed us from the aimlessness
of things' going meaninglessly well.
God, lift the hearts of those
for whom this holiday is not just diversion,
but painful memory and continued deprivation.
Bless those whose dear ones have died
needlessly, wastefully [as it seems]
in accident or misadventure.
We remember with compassion those who have died
serving their countries
in the futility of combat.
There is none of us but must come to bereavement and separation,
when all the answers we are offered
fail the question death asks of each of us.
We believe that you will provide for us
as others have been provided with the fulfillment of
"Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted."