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What is Memorial Day and why is it a holiday?

It initially honored only those killed in the Civil War, but during WWI, the holiday evolved to honor those killed in all wars.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Memorial Day has changed a lot over the years.

Let's connect the dots.

Originally known as decoration day, the ceremony came around soon after the civil war to honor those killed while serving.

Americans would decorate their graves with flowers and recite prayers. It initially honored only those killed in the Civil War, but during WWI, the holiday evolved to honor those killed in all wars.

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For decades, Memorial Day was observed on May 30, the date selected for the first decoration day. But in 1968, Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which established Memorial Day as the last Monday in May.

The change went into effect in 1971, the same time Memorial Day was declared a federal holiday.

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