Memorial Day originated in the 1860’s, following the American Civil War, and is celebrated officially on the last Monday in May. Traditionally, the Holiday was to commemorate Union soldiers who had fallen during the Civil War by decoration of their graves, but since then this holiday has come to encompass all American soldiers who were felled in battle.
Gradually, the day of remembrance blossomed from simple grave decoration to include services honoring those deceased military men, picnics (sometimes also held within the cemetery grounds), family reunions, and even parades, beach parties, and fireworks. Because Memorial Day often marks the beginning of Summer vacation, all type of general warm weather festivities may be included as well.
As with the Fourth of July and Flag Day, one common method of modern celebration is the wearing of patriotic clothing, jewelry, and accessories. Popular items include those bearing military insignia, depictions of famous war memorials, and of course, items emblazoned with the American Flag.