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Remembering Memorial Day

Connie Burdloff shares a laugh with her husband, Dave. (Heather Nelson)

For a list of nearby Memorial Day events, click here.

To many, Memorial Day means summer has arrived with its festivals and fairs, parades, outdoor concerts and long, warm summer evenings.

But, to others, Memorial Day is a somber holiday — a day of remembrance.

This year’s Memorial Day will mark the 145th year of the holiday, which originally was called Decoration Day.

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, “… on May 5, 1868 … the Grand Army of the Republic established Decoration Day as a day for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers.”

By the end of the 19th century, Memorial Day was celebrated May 30 each year throughout the U.S., but it wasn’t until after World War I that the holiday included all who have died in American wars, the USDVA says.

Memorial Day was declared a national holiday in 1971 by Congress and placed on the last Monday in May.

To read the full story, pick up the latest issue of McHenry County Magazine.