Memorial Day in the United States for 2017 is May 29. Memorial Day originated as “…Decoration Day after the American Civil War in 1868, when the Grand Army of the Republic… established it as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the Union war dead with flowers.” (Wikipedia) Memorial Day became the last Monday in May with the passage of the Uniform Monday Holiday Act in 1968. The meaning of Memorial Day in the United States varies by age group, locale, and service in the armed forces, but generally it is a day to honor fallen soldiers from past wars.
Traditionally Memorial Day is mean to honor war dead and decorate their graves, but also marks the unofficial start of summer with Labor Day marking the end. Memorial Day is also the first widely observed holiday in the United States following New Year’s Day, although there are several minor holidays, often called banking holidays, in between.