Memorial Day Weekend

Jessica Tiedeken, Student Writer

Memorial Day is celebrated in the United States to honor those who have fallen in active military service. After the Civil War, many people began remembering all the soldiers lost in battle because at that point, it claimed more lives than any other U.S conflict. The first Memorial Day took place on May 30, 1868 and it was called Decoration Day. This was chosen as the date of the holiday because it was not the anniversary of any particular battle. As the U.S took part in more military conflicts, like World War One, the focus of the day shifted from soldiers of the Civil War to any fallen soldier in general. Memorial day was originally observed on May 30th, but now it is observed on the last Monday in May. This change was made in 1968, and went into effect in 1971, giving federal employees a three-day weekend. This law also declared Memorial day as a federal holiday. This year, it will be observed on May 27, 2019.  

Most people do not have school or work on this day: giving them a nice three-day weekend. A lot of people will take advantage of this opportunity to go on a short vacation or travel to visit family. Julia Johnson and her family are using this weekend to go to Indiana for the Indy 500 which is a type of car racing. She says, “I’ve always traveled on Memorial Day, whether it was going home to California or spending the weekend at our mountain house in the Poconos.” In this area, it is common for people to travel to the New Jersey, Maryland, or Delaware to go to the beach. There are also some people who will spend the weekend relaxing, like Ann Lanzi. Ann shares, “I plan to finish the book I am currently reading and catch up on some sleep. In previous years, I participated in the marching band parade, but I do not plan to take part in that this year.” There are all kinds of ways to spend this extended weekend, whether that means traveling to a far place or relaxing at home and spending time with family. Regardless, it’s always nice to take a break from the hustle and bustle of life to honor those who gave their lives for Americans.

For those who are honoring the true meaning of the holiday, there are many parades, memorial services, and picnics to attend. Some of the largest Memorial Day parades take place in Chicago, New York City, and Washington D.C. At the Memorial Day National Monument, a moment of remembrance takes place every year at 3 p.m. Locally, the Annual Doylestown Memorial Day parade will start at Central Bucks West High School. Warminster’s Memorial Day Ceremony and Parade will being at 10 a.m.. The Hatfield Memorial Day Parade and Service will take place from 9 to 11 a.m.. The Perkasie Memorial Day Parade will take place in Sellersville this year. No matter what you have planned for the weekend, be sure to keep our fallen soldiers in mind as you celebrate the weekend.