Memorial Day originally honored military personnel who died in the Civil War (1861-1865).
The holiday now honors those who died in any war while serving with the United States.
It is also called Decoration Day.
May 5, 1866 - Residents of Waterloo, New York, observe a Memorial Day in honor of all who died during the Civil War. Businesses are closed and soldiers' graves are decorated.
1868 - General John Alexander Logan officially proclaims May 30, 1868, as Memorial Day in honor of the Union soldiers who died in the Civil War. Until after World War I, southern states celebrated a separate Memorial Day in honor of the Confederate dead.
1971 - Congress declares Memorial Day a national holiday to be celebrated the last Monday in May.
December 28, 2000 - President Bill Clinton
signs the "National Moment of Remembrance Act," which designates 3:00 p.m. local time on Memorial Day each year as the National Moment of Remembrance.
US War Casualties:
Civil War - Approximately 620,000 Americans died. The Union lost almost 365,000 troops and the Confederacy about 260,000. More than half of these deaths were caused by disease.
World War I -
116,516 Americans died, more than half from disease.
World War II -
405,399 Americans died.
Korean War -
36,574 Americans died.
Vietnam Conflict -
58,220 Americans died.
Operation Iraqi Freedom -
4,410 service members died.
Operation New Dawn -
73 service members died.
Operation Enduring Freedom -
2,347 service members died.
Operation Freedom's Sentinel -
69 service members have died as of May 2019
Operation Inherent Resolve
- 76 service members have died as of May 2019