|It's time for flag waving, backyard picnics and mom's apple pie!|
Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day. It was proclaimed a national holiday to honor fallen soldiers from the Civil War on May 5, 1868 and was officially observed for the first time a few weeks later, on May 30, 1868. In 1882 the name Decoration Day was changed to Memorial Day and it became a day to also honor those who died in other wars. In 1971 the official day to celebrate Memorial Day was changed from May 30th to the last Monday in May.
During the first celebration of Decoration Day, General James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery, after which 5,000 participants helped to decorate the graves of the more than 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers buried in the cemetery.
It's also customary for the president or vice-president to give a speech honoring the contributions of the dead and lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. About 5,000 people attend this ceremony annually.
There is also a National Memorial Day Concert held on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. The concert is open to the public and broadcast live on PBS. It's also broadcast to U.S. military personnel in more than 135 countries by the American Forces Radio and Television Network. This years annual National Memorial Day Concert begins on Sunday, May 29, 2011, at 8:00 EST.
On Memorial Day weekend we'll also honor our country's heroes and pay tribute to our loved ones in local parades and ceremonies. Memorial day traditionally means flags and colorful red, white and blue decorations will adorn streets and houses across America. In small towns and in big cities , displays of patriotism and flag waving, will be followed by fun and games, picnics and backyard feasts, and favorite desserts like Mom's apple pie!
If you're planning to spend the day at a community gathering in your town...if you're celebrating with friends at the beach or at a campground, or just staying home and having a backyard barbecue with your family, here's recipes for foods to fill your picnic basket or your Memorial Day table!
|Kabobs||Pennsylvania Dutch Potato Salad|
|Stars N' Stripes Cakes||Patriotic Parfaits|
Can't forget the Apple Pie!
Links to Colorful, Patriotic Desserts
Red, White & Blue Chocolate Cupcakes from Hersheys.
Have a safe & happy Memorial Day!
|Stars and Stripes Sundae Dishes, Set of 4|
Celebrate the summer with fresh berries, refreshing sorbet and hot fudge sundaes served in these great Stars and Stripes Sundae Dishes. Set of four, each holds 12 oz.
|Stars and Stripes Oval Bowl|
Show your pride in the red, white and blue with this 24 oz. oval serving bowl. It's the perfect complement to the rest Pfaltzgraff's new Stars and Stripes tableware.