Memorial Day 2024:16 things to know, history, events, how to celebrate

National Moment of Remembrance puts ‘commemoration’ back into Memorial Day


  • Memorial Day is a federal holiday celebrated on the last Monday in May.
  • The holiday was originally called Decoration Day and was first celebrated in 1868.
  • Memorial Day is a day to remember and honor those who have died in service to their country.

Memorial Day weekend is quickly approaching.

The three-day weekend is marked for many as the unofficial start of summer – although it has nothing to do with astronomical or meteorological seasons. Memorial Day is a day rich in tradition, but how much do you really know about this holiday?

When is Memorial Day and why is it on a different date every year? Do you have to say Happy Memorial Day? Here’s what you need to know about the day, why we celebrate it, and the ceremonies you’ll find in Florida.

When is Memorial Day 2024?

Memorial Day is held on the last Monday in May. In 2024, Memorial Day falls on May 27.

Is Memorial Day a federal holiday?

Yes, Memorial Day is one of eleven federal holidays. Schools and libraries will be closed, as will most federal and state offices. No mail will be delivered on Memorial Day.

Is Memorial Day a holiday in Florida?

Yes. Memorial Day is a Florida recognized holiday. Most state and local offices will be closed.

Will there be school in Florida on Memorial Day?

For many Florida students, school ends before Memorial Day.

There will be no classes on May 27 for students still at school.

What is the true meaning of Memorial Day?


When is Remembrance Day? Here’s the history behind the holiday.

When is Remembrance Day? Here’s what you need to know about the history and significance of the holiday.

Memorial Day, originally known as Decoration Day, has its roots in the years after the Civil War, when people began decorating graves and saying prayers for those killed during the war.

According to, General John Logan called for a national day of remembrance in 1868. The celebration was called Decoration Day and was observed on May 30, 1868, as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. The date was chosen because it was not the anniversary of a Civil War battle, according to

Originally honoring only those who died during the Civil War, Decoration Day expanded to recognize the sacrifices of others after World War I.

“The holiday has evolved to commemorate U.S. military personnel killed in all wars, including World War II, the Vietnam War, the Korean War, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan,” according to the U.S. Army Airborne and Special Operations Museum.

Memorial Day became an official federal holiday in 1971, changing from May 30 to the last Monday in May under the Uniform Monday Holiday Act.

Quick Facts: 10 Historical Facts About Memorial Day

Who do we honor on Memorial Day?

Memorial Day is a day set aside to honor members of the United States military who have died in service to their country.

What is the National Remembrance Day? Bringing ‘remembrance’ back into Memorial Day

In May 1996, children touring Lafayette Park in Washington, DC, were asked what Memorial Day meant. Their response was that this was when the pools opened, according to National Moment of Remembrance.

That response led to an effort to reintegrate “commemoration” into Memorial Day, and in December 2000, the National Moment of Remembrance Act was signed into law with these goals in mind:

  • To show gratitude to those who died for our freedom.
  • To remind all Americans of the importance of remembering those who sacrificed their lives for our freedom.
  • To give American citizens in America and around the world the opportunity to participate in this symbolic act of unity.
  • To make Memorial Day relevant, especially for younger Americans.

What do you do during the National Remembrance Day?

“The National Moment of Remembrance encourages all Americans to pause on Memorial Day at 3 p.m. local time, wherever they are, for a minute of silence to remember and honor those who have died in service to the nation,” the statement said. VA.

What can’t you do on Memorial Day?

This really isn’t the day to thank someone for their service just because it’s Memorial Day; Save those wishes for Veterans Day or Armed Forces Day.

Remember, the purpose of Memorial Day is to focus and remember those who have died in the line of duty.

There’s nothing wrong with spending time with family or finding special deals, but don’t forget to think and appreciate the sacrifices that make it all possible.

Should you say ‘Happy Memorial Day’?

Memorial Day is meant to honor people who have died in service to their country, so wishing someone a “Happy Memorial Day” is really inappropriate.

For families who have lost loved ones, it is often not a happy day in the traditional sense of the word, but a solemn day full of emotions.

So what can you say instead?

The Wounded Warrior Project suggested saying, “Have a meaningful Memorial Day” or even “Today and always I remember (name).”

What is the difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day?

Memorial Day honors the sacrifice and loss of those who served and died in the military.

Veterans Day honors everyone who has served in the U.S. military. Now is the time to thank a member of the military for their service.

Ceremonies in Florida for Memorial Day 2024

Many communities celebrate Memorial Day with parades, concerts or ceremonies organized by local veterans organizations. Among the celebrations and activities in Florida during Memorial Day weekend are:

Pensacola: Patriotic music, flags placed on graves at Barrancas National Cemetery, Memorial Day celebrations, wreath-laying ceremony.

West Palm Beach: Jupiter Memorial Day Ceremony, Palm Beach Gardens Memorial Day Ceremony, Royal Palm Beach Memorial Day Ceremony, Wellington Day Parade and Ceremony, Day to Remember Memorial Day Service in Lantana, Boca Raton Memorial Day Ceremony and concert.

Brevard: Memorial Day tribute in Cocoa Village, Memorial Day program at the Liberty Bell Museum, Memorial Day celebration on Merritt Island, Memorial Day celebration in Mims, Memorial Day service in Titusville.

Sarasota: Sarasota Memorial Day Parade, Heroes Block Party tribute and parade at Lakewood Park, Patriotic Pops Concert and fireworks at CoolToday Park, Memorial Day Concert.

Treasure Coast: Memorial Island Sanctuary’s Memorial Day Ceremony, St. Lucie County Memorial Day Picnic, City of Stuart Annual Memorial Day Parade and Ceremony.

Naples: Memorial Day service in Bonita Springs, “Patriotic Pops” concerts at Artis-Naples.

What is closed on Memorial Day?

During the holiday weekend, all banks, schools and non-essential government offices are closed.

However, most stores, restaurants, grocery stores – including Publix – and convenience stores will be open

Memorial Day Closures: Memorial Day 2024: What’s open, closed in Florida?

When is the best time to travel over Memorial Day weekend?


Here’s how to beat the traffic this Memorial Day weekend

Are you traveling this Memorial Day weekend? Get ready, because you’re not alone. About 42.8 million Americans are expected to hit the roads or take to the skies to get to wherever they’re going for the long holiday weekend, according to travel experts at AAA. Tony Spitz of Veuer has the details.

AAA Projects 43.8 million travelers will travel 50 miles or more from home during the Memorial Day holiday weekend. This is an increase of 4% compared to last year.

AAA expects 3.51 million air travelers during the holiday weekend, up 4.8% from last year.

Transport data and insights provider INRIX suggested the best times to hit the road:

  • If you’re leaving on Thursday or Friday, get there early to avoid mingling with commuters.
  • Travelers heading home on Sunday or Monday should avoid the afternoon hours, when return flights are busiest.
  • Busiest travel times:
    • Thursday: 12:00 – 18:00
    • Friday: 12:00 – 19:00
    • Saturday: 12:00 – 17:00
    • Sunday: 3:00 PM – 7:00 PM
    • Monday: 3:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Memorial Day road trip: Here are the best and worst times to go in Florida, the Southeast

Are you staying in Florida over Memorial Day weekend? Get free admission to state parks

Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida has announced that all state parks in Florida will be free to enter over Memorial Day weekend.

The weekend runs from May 24 to May 27.

Florida State Parks: Visiting the Florida State Park soon? Here are the 10 most popular parks and how to get free entry

Memorial Day sale

Here are companies offering Memorial Day sales that we’ve collected for you.

➤ 10 Best Memorial Day Deals

Contributing: Samantha Neely, USA TODAY Network-Florida