It was not until after World War I, however, that the day was expanded to honor those who have died in all American wars. In 1971, Memorial Day was declared a national holiday by an act of Congress, though it is still often called Decoration Day. It was then also placed on the last Monday in May, as were some other federal holidays…
The National Moment of Remembrance encourages all Americans to pause wherever they are at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day for a minute of silence to remember and honor those who have died in service to the nation. As Moment of Remembrance founder Carmella LaSpada states: “It’s a way we can all help put the memorial back in Memorial Day.”
“Memorial Day History,” Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs
My Dad is buried at the Veteran”s National Cemetery in Houston. Dad was proud of his service, for good reason. I think, though, that we need an expanded idea of service that includes nonmilitary service, too. I think that we sentimentalize the military when we try to make it the most important kind of service to community and nation. We need a day to memorialize all service, from soldiers to labor organizers.