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Ahead of Memorial Day weekend, the 3rd U. After WWI, though, the holiday began to encompass members of the American armed forces who had fallen in any conflict. Type keyword s to search. Today's Top Stories.


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Memorial Day

Getty Images. Multiple cities claim to be the birthplace of Memorial Day. It was originally called Decoration Day.

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Over 25 cities claim to be the birthplace of Memorial Day. For example, Macon, Georgia, claims it began there in , while Boalsburg, Pennsylvania, maintains it began there in One story maintains that, in late April of , a group of Mississippi women went to decorate the graves of soldiers who had died in the Battle of Shiloh.

Get it straight: The difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day

When they arrived, they found the Confederate graves well cared for, in stark contrast to the nearby graves of Union soldiers, which were bare and unkempt. Saddened, the women placed their flowers on the Union graves, too. John A.


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  • The History of Memorial Day!

Ulysses S. Grant presided over the ceremony. After the speeches, children from local orphanages walked through the cemetery with members of the Grand Army of the Republic, placing flowers on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers. Today, several states continue to observe Confederate Memorial Day, in which they honor only Southern soldiers who died during the Civil War.

1. Multiple cities claim to be the birthplace of Memorial Day.

Today, most Southern states, including Florida, Louisiana, North Carolina, Texas, Tennessee and Virginia, no longer include it as an official holiday where government offices close, but there are a few that still do. In South Carolina, for example, eight of its 46 counties gave their government workers paid leave on May Though it occurs on different days in different states, Confederate Memorial Day is generally celebrated with church services and civil war re-enactments.