The modern observance of Memorial Day began after the end of the bloody Civil War. More than 622,000 Americans, from the North and the South, died in those four years of battles.
(*See quoted sources below.)
“It was not until after World War I, however, that the day was expanded to honor those who have died in all American wars. In 1971, Memorial Day was declared a national holiday by an act of Congress, though it is still often called Decoration Day.”
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