Memorial Day

United States federal holiday remembering those who died in military service

Memorial Day (previously known as Decoration Day) is a federal holiday in the United States for remembering and honoring the military personnel who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.

Memorial Day, Boston by Henry Sandham


  • The bugle echoes shrill and sweet,
    But not of war it sings to-day.
    The road is rhythmic with the feet
    ⁠Of men-at-arms who come to pray.

    The roses blossom white and red
    ⁠On tombs where weary soldiers lie;
    Flags wave above the honored dead
    ⁠And martial music cleaves the sky.

    Above their wreath-strewn graves we kneel,
    ⁠They kept the faith and fought the fight.
    Through flying lead and crimson steel
    ⁠They plunged for Freedom and the Righteousness.

    May we, their grateful children, learn
    ⁠Their strength, who lie beneath this sod,
    Who went through fire and death to earn
    ⁠At last the accolade of God.

    In shining rank on rank arrayed
    They march, the legions of the Lord;
    He is their Captain unafraid,
    The Prince of Peace . . . Who brought a sword.

    • Joyce Kilmer, Memorial Day; this poem was later published in The Army and Navy Hymnal (1920)

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