Memorial Day falls on the last Monday of May in the United States. For those still in school, generally schools are closed in order to observe the day as it is a federal holiday.
When it comes to colleges, students should check with the university website to make sure, though most students are on summer break.
Other holidays where schools are closed include Christmas, New Year’s, Veterans Day, Columbus Day, Presidents’ Day and Thanksgiving. Some schools may give up holidays like Columbus Day when they have used too many snow days in that year. Or, they shorten their holiday break schedule to make up for the days missed.
In addition to school closings, there are other offices and establishments that are closed as well. Private businesses may choose to close their doors. Trash pickup is postponed to the following day in some areas, mail is not delivered, and most banks are closed.
State parks and public libraries should be open, while financial institutions like the stock market, will be closed.
On Memorial Day, a tradition is to fly the United States flag at half staff from dawn until noon. People often visit loved ones, veterans, memorials and cemeteries to honor those who died serving their country. Often, volunteers place an American flag on each grave throughout national cemeteries, according to TimeAndDate.com.
Many see Memorial Day as a beginning to summer and summer events. Get-togethers and barbecues take place to celebrate the occasion.
Originally, Memorial Day came about in order to honor Union soldiers who passed away during the American Civil War. Brian Duffy, commander in chief of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, tells ABC News that Americans have lost sight of what the holiday truly means. Duffy says:
There are a lot of things working against this particular holiday … It hurts that, as a society, we don’t truly understand and appreciate what the true meaning of Memorial Day is.