Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday that is celebrated on the last Monday in May to honor, celebrate and remember the men and women who have died serving our country. The tradition of Memorial Day began in 1868, three years following the end of the American Civil War. This day was initially called Decoration Day, originating from the idea of placing flowers on the graves of soldiers who lost their lives. By the end of the nineteenth century the name of the national holiday was changed to Memorial Day.

Most companies close to honor this holiday, resulting in a three day weekend for many. Memorial Day is also known as the unofficial beginning of summer, as the weather starts to warm up and pools are opened. Many families make this weekend a tradition to vacation or enjoy gatherings and backyard barbeques with friends and family.

There are several Memorial Day traditions across the United States including parades and memorials. The National Memorial Day Parade in Washington DC is held on Monday to salute the military and fallen heroes. The 149th Memorial Day Parade and Ceremonies also takes place this day in Gettysburg and is one of the oldest ceremonies held in the country. A popular way to observe Memorial Day is by visiting cemeteries and memorials across the country.

Many people will wear the color red or put on display red poppies, also known as a Remembrance Poppy as a national symbol of our fallen soldiers. In traditional observance, the United States flag is quickly raised to the top of the staff, then slowly lowered to half-mast to honor and remember our fallen soldiers over the years and then raised back up again at noon as a symbol of carrying on memory by the living and to continue the fight for our country’s freedom, liberty and justice.

Austin Air will be closed on Monday, the 30th to observe Memorial Day and will return to normal business hours on Tuesday, May 31st. We want to wish you a fun and safe holiday weekend! Happy Memorial Day!