Flags traditionally are used to decorate grave sites during Memorial Day.
Flags traditionally are used to decorate grave sites during Memorial Day. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

WIESBADEN, Germany – Memorial Day this year is on Monday, May 31, and is set aside to memorialize the military men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for the country.

The day serves as a time to remember and honor the men and women who died while in military service of our country and honors and respects all Americans who have died for freedom.

Memorial Day was first observed on May 30, 1868 as Decoration Day, and commemorated the sacrifices of Civil War Soldiers and to honor them by decorating their graves. The Uniform Monday Holiday Act moved Memorial Day from May 30 to the last Monday in May and Federal law took effect in 1971.