May 25, 2013

Dear Friends,

Following the conclusion of the Civil War in 1865, a national Decoration Day was created to commemorate the fallen Union and Confederate soldiers. Since then, Decoration Day has become Memorial Day and has been expanded to honor all the fallen soldiers from every theater of war.

In 1967, Congress officially recognized the last Monday of May as Memorial Day. People across the country will decorate the grave sites of members of the military. Click on the links below to learn more about Memorial Day and the events happening in your community.

  • The first Memorial Day occurred on May 5th, three years after the Civil War ended. The ceremony was held at Arlington National Cemetery and was presided over by General Ulysses S. Grant and his wife. To learn more about the history of Memorial Day, click here.

  • Memorial Day provides us with an opportunity to say thank you to the thousands of men and women enlisted in our armed forces. The United Service Organization (USO) works to "lift the spirits of America's troops and their families". To find out how you can help support the troops, visit the USO website.

  • The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is the umbrella organization responsible for the National Cemetery Administration. The NCA coordinates Memorial Day services at National Cemeteries around the country. To find out where Memorial Day services are happening in your community, click here.

  • On Memorial Day, it is tradition to hang flags in public spaces at half mast. The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs has published a guide with all the standard protocols, including how to properly fold a flag. It can be found here.
Monday, May 27th, will be the 144th Memorial Day celebration. While spending time with your family and loved ones, take a moment to reflect on the many sacrifices made by the men and women in our armed services who have made this celebration possible. To learn more about how I am working in Congress to honor our veterans, please visit my website.


Richard Neal
U.S. Congressman
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