Memorial Day is a national holiday in The United States commemorating all who have died in nation's armed services. It is celebrated on the last Monday in May, also marking the unofficial beginning of summer.
There is some dispute over the beginning of tradition as it may have started in several places around the same time with people gathering to honour the dead. Memorial Day was first announced in 1868 by General John Logan in order to pay respects to Civil War soldiers. On May 30, 1868 flowers were placed on the graves at Arlington National Cemetary. New York was the first state to officially recognize the holiday in 1873. It has been a national holiday since 1971 and is celebrated in all US states with several Southern states additionally honouring the Confederate dead on different dates.
A ceremony is held at Arlington Cemetary every year where a small American flag is placed on each grave. The holiday is also known as Poppy Day, as since World War I poppies are worn on the day (a tradition transfered to many other countries, but signifying different things).