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Decoration Day (our Memorial Day) received its name from the laying of flowers on the graves of the fallen soldiers during the Civil War.
In 1868 General John A.Logan issued a proclamation that "Decoration Day" should be observed nationwide It was observed for the first time on May 30 of the same year; the date was chosen because it was not the anniversary of a battle. The northern states quickly adopted the holiday; Michigan made "Decoration Day" an official state holiday in 1871 and by 1890 every northern state followed suit.
The earliest Confederate Memorial Day celebrations were simple, somber occasions for veterans and their families to honor the day and attend to local cemeteries. At its Decoration Day on April 25, 1866, Columbus, Mississippi commemorated both the Union and Confederate casualties buried in its cemetery.
Following WWI, Decoration Day became Memorial Day and has been ever since a day to honour all those who have served in the military.