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Field of American Flags

Celebrating Memorial Day

Memorial Day is a time to pay tribute to all of those who have served and who currently serve in our country’s armed forces. However, did you know?….

Memorial Day gets its roots from a holiday called Decoration Day, which was observed as early as 1868. Years later, in 1968, (thanks to the passing of the Uniform Monday Holiday Act), Memorial Day was officially moved to the last Monday of May. Below, we take a look at some other interesting facts about Memorial Day.

Memorial Day Facts

  • Takes place on the last Monday of May each year
  • Was originally named “Decoration Day” after the Civil War in 1868 when the Grand Army of the Republic established it as a time to decorate the graves of deceased military members with flowers
  • First received extensive publicity in Charleston, SC in 1865
  • In May 1868, General John Logan, Commander-in-chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, issued a proclamation for “Decoration Day” to be observed annually & nationwide.
  • Was first observed on Saturday, May 30, 1868 (known as “Decoration Day”)
  • The date was chosen because it was thought to be an optimal time for flowers to bloom.
  • The name, “Memorial Day” was first used in 1882
  • In June 1968, Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which moved four holidays, including Memorial Day, to a specified Monday in order to create a convenient, 3-day weekend. The law officially went into effect at the federal level in 1971.
  • At Memorial Day ceremonies, the U.S. flag is raised quickly to the top of the staff and then lowered slowly to half-staff, where it remains until noon.
  • The lowering of the flag on Memorial Day is in remembrance of the countless military men and women who gave their lives in service to the U.S.

Memorial Day 2016

WakeMed Memorial Day Ceremonies

This Friday, we will be hosting Memorial Day ceremonies at each of our three hospital campuses. Attendees can expect a brief welcome and invocation, along with the singing of God Bless America. Each of our locations will have senior leadership as well as our Color Guard for the flag ceremony(ies).

Each of the ceremonies is set to take place this Friday, May 27, 2016, from 10 am to 10:30 am. Details about the locations may be found below.


WakeMed Raleigh Campus

Flag Pole, Ground Floor E-Tower Entrance

WakeMed Cary Hospital

Flag Pole, Main Entrance

WakeMed North

Flag Pole, Main Entrance