By ESTEVAN MEDRANO
Port Isabel-South Padre Press
Originally called “Decoration Day” during its first proclamation in 1868 following the end of the Civil War to commemorate the fallen Union and Confederate soldiers, Memorial Day is often confused with having the same significance as Veteran’s Day. However, while Veteran’s Day commemorates the service of men and women in the armed forces, this federal holiday honors those had died while serving.
The newly absorbed South originally refused to acknowledge the holiday, even when it was recognized by all northern states by 1890, that is until World War Il, when it was extended to honor all Americans who died during military service. Moina Michael conceived the idea to wear red poppies during the holiday, now called the National Poppy Movement, and the tradition quickly spread before becoming a nationally recognized tradition.
The holiday has occurred every last Monday in May since 1971, which this year falls on the 25th.
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