Which Event Traditionally Takes Place On Memorial Day Weekend?

What day does Memorial Day Fall On? We discuss Memorial Day - Traditions, events, the National Moment of Remembrance and more

Published on:

May 18, 2021


Memorial Day weekend marks many things, from warm weather and the formal beginning of the summer months to commemorating the honor and memory of our troops and service members during this three-day weekend.

There are many ways people commemorate Memorial Day. Some people visit cemeteries and memorials of fallen soldiers, some people carry a red poppy in honor of those who have fallen serving their county. Cities and towns across America also hold parades honoring veterans and service members. Memorial day weekend is also spent doing many things from visiting with family to having backyard barbecues with friends and displaying the American flag in their garden or yard.

What day does Memorial Day Fall On?

Regardless of your weekend activities, you might be curious what Memorial Day Weekend 2020 will be. This year Memorial Day will be observed on Monday, May 25, 2020. Every year, the date varies; however, Memorial Day is always celebrated on the last Monday in May. Here is a list of the day and date for Memorial Day over the next ten years.

Which Event Traditionally Takes Place On Memorial Day Weekend?

Memorial Day is observed in a variety of forms. If any single event would be considered to be the single Memorial Day event, it would be the National Moment of Remembrance. The National Moment of Remembrance is a tradition in which Americans are asked to pause for one minute at 3:00 p.m. local time on Memorial Day to honor those who have served of military service of the United States. The hour of 3 p.m. was selected because it is when most Americans are on vacation for the national holiday. The Moment was first declared in May 2000 for Memorial Day that year, and the United States Congress passed it into law in December 2000.

The Background of Memorial Day

Before there was a memorial day Union General John A. Logan declared “A day of remembrance” for troops who had fallen during the Civil War, and a date of May 30, 1868, was chosen. This, however, was not the first day or memory for fallen troops, as it was recorded that one of the first recorded commemorations of Memorial Day occurred on May 1, 1865, in Charleston, South Carolina. After Confederate troops evacuated Charleston, freed slaves buried the bodies of fallen Union soldiers.

Southern states chose to establish their own day dedicated to Confederate troops, and nine states still hold a commemoration for those who fought for the Confederate States of America. While being unofficially recognized by the Federal government for decades, in the year 1950, the United States Congress passed a resolution requesting that the president “issue a declaration calling upon the citizens of the United States to celebrate Memorial Day.” In 1968, the Uniform Monday Holiday Act was passed, establishing Memorial Day as the last Monday in May. In 1971, the celebration was designated as a federal holiday.

Memorial Day Sports Events

The Indianapolis 500 is held on Memorial Day weekend for those sports car and racing enthusiasts since its start in 1911. The Indianapolis 500 is an annual car event held at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, Indiana. It is also known as the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race or simply the Indy 500.

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