According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website, “Declaration Day” (May 30th) was established on May 5, 1868 as a day for the United States to decorate the graves of its war dead with flowers (the May 30th date is thought to have been chosen because flowers would be in bloom throughout the United States by that date). The first large observance of Declaration Day was held on May 30, 1868, at Arlington National Cemetery.
While many locations throughout the United States have laid claim to being the birthplace of Memorial Day, U.S. President Lyndon Johnson and the U.S. Congress declared in 1966 that Waterloo, N.Y. was the birthplace of Memorial Day because on May 5, 1866, Waterloo, New York held a ceremony honoring local veterans who had fought in the Civil War, by closing businesses in town and flying flags at half-staff.
Only after World War I was the observance of Memorial Day expanded to honor all persons who had died defending the United States in all wars. Memorial Day was celebrated on May 30th of each year until Congress made Memorial Day a national holiday, which is celebrated on the last Monday in May.
In 2000, Congress passed the “The National Moment of Remembrance Act” (P.L. 106-579), which was signed by the President into law. The National Moment of Remembrance Act created the White House Commission on the National Moment of Remembrance, whose purpose is to “encourage the people of the United States to give something back to their country, which provides them so much freedom and opportunity,” by encouraging and coordinating commemorations on Memorial Day and during the National Moment of Remembrance in the United States. The National Moment of Remembrance occurs at 3:00 p.m. on Memorial Day, when all Americans are encouraged to observe a minute of silence to remember and honor those who have died in service to the United States.
What Is Veterans Day?
On November 11th of each year, the Veterans Day National Ceremony is held at Arlington National Cemetery at precisely 11:00 a.m., when a wreath is laid at the Tomb of the Unknowns followed with a parade of colors by veterans’ organizations and remarks from dignitaries inside the Memorial Amphitheater. Veterans Day honors and thanks everyone who has served in the United States Armed Forces.
Perhaps the biggest and best thanks that we can give to our living veterans on this Memorial Day is to ensure that they are provided all of the benefits to which they are entitled because of their sacrifices to our nation, in a timely, appropriate, and complete manner. We must steadfastly monitor and hold the Secretary of Veterans Affairs’ feet to the fire after he promised on May 22, 2014, in response to the recent allegations of misconduct and systemic failures at various VA medical centers in the United States, “If any allegations under review are substantiated, we will act. As we approach our observance of Memorial Day and its special significance to our Nation, VA is re-doubling its efforts, with integrity and compassion, to earn your trust.”
If you or a loved one are a U.S. veteran and may have been harmed by medical negligence committed at a VA medical facility, you should promptly consult with a local medical malpractice attorney (VA malpractice attorney) in your state who has experience in handling claims against the VA so that you may be informed regarding your rights and responsibilities in bringing a medical malpractice claim involving the VA.
Click here to visit our website or call us toll-free at 800-295-3959 to be connected with VA medical malpractice lawyers who may assist you with a VA medical malpractice claim (a Federal Tort Claims Act claim).
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