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Civic Value: Sacrifice

Let's admit that many of us feel challenged by the real purpose of Memorial Day. How can we talk about fallen heroes over fried chicken and cherry pie?  The truth is that we can celebrate and observe. Freedom’s Feast helps us to do that. 

Memorial Day began after the Civil War when surviving family members decorated soldiers’ graves. The first national observance took place at Arlington National Cemetery on May 30, 1868. After World War I, observance grew to include armed forces members who died in all wars. The National Holiday Act of 1971 shifted Memorial Day from May 30 to the last Monday in May. The change made Memorial Day a federal holiday and part of a three day weekend that for most marks the beginning of summer.


Choose from the resources below to add to your Memorial Day weekend. Wherever and however you observe the holiday, please take time to remember the fallen, and please gather safely.

User-friendly ceremonies to make your holiday more meaningful and memorable

A range of activities and suggestions to enrich your holiday celebration

Connect heart, mind, and hands to make a one of a kind holiday keepsake

Additional resources including holiday timelines, booklists, other websites and more

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