In the United States, Memorial Day is a national holiday celebrating all those fallen in the nation's wars or while in the service of the military. Falling on the last Monday in May, the long weekend marks the unofficial start off the summer season for Americans.
When the holiday was first recognized shortly after the American Civil War, it was known as Decoration Day. Over time more and more people began calling it Memorial Day instead, and by the mid-20th century, the switch was complete.
A long tradition of family picnics in late spring, especially in the South, predates Memorial Day. Favorite memorial day picnic dishes include grilled hamburgers, potato salad and strawberry shortcake.
Many families also visit the gravesites of family and friends who have passed away and lay flowers or other mementos. Small-town Memorial Day parades with a strong veteran element are a long-standing tradition, The famous Indianapolis 500 car race is run every Memorial Day weekend.
Memorial Day Recipes
Try these recipes for a Memorial Day picnic or backyard barbecue or for munching as you watch the parade go by.
(American lemon beverage)
(American fried chicken with a crispy crust)
(American potatoes with mayonnaise)
(American strawberries with a sweet biscuit)
(American blueberry-filled double-crust tart)
(American Southern-Soul slow-cooked pork ribs)
(American grilled beef patty sandwiches)