At 3 pm local time, please pause for a moment of silence and remember those who have died while in service to America.
The National Moment of Remembrance Act
In December 2000, the National Moment of Remembrance Act was passed by the US Congress. This established the White House Commission on the National Moment of Remembrance. This was to ensure that America’s fallen heroes’ sacrifices are never forgotten. As Moment of Remembrance founder Carmella LaSpada states: “It’s a way we can all help put the memorial back in Memorial Day.”
From the website of the Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs:
Three years after the Civil War ended, on May 5, 1868, the head of an organization of Union veterans — the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) — established Decoration Day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. Maj. Gen. John A. Logan declared that Decoration Day should be observed on May 30. It is believed that date was chosen because flowers would be in bloom all over the country.
The first large observance was held that year at Arlington National Cemetery, across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C.
In 1971, Memorial Day was declared a national holiday by an act of Congress, though it is still often called Decoration Day. It was then also placed on the last Monday in May.