Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States for remembering the people who died while serving in the United States' armed forces. This holiday, which is observed every year on the last Monday of May, originated as Decoration Day after the American Civil War in 1868. The Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of Union veterans, established Decoration Day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. By the 20th century, several Confederate holiday traditions, celebrated on different days, merged with Decoration Day, to form Memorial Day, which extended to honor all Americans who died while serving in the United States military.
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