Former presidents of the United States observed Memorial Day on Monday with social media posts honoring the men and women who laid down their lives for the cause of liberty.
Former President Donald Trump posted on his platform Truth Social, writing, “Happy Memorial Day! God Bless all of those who fought and worked sooo hard to build, and now SAVE, our Country. Many brave and beautiful souls were willing to make the ultimate sacrifice. Please know that you are cherished, loved, and respected by all Americans, and much of the World. We are with you and will always be thinking of you and all you have done to MAKE AMERICA GREAT!”
Former President Barack Obama tweeted an image of himself standing in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery, and wrote, “On Memorial Day, we honor the memory of those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country, and pray for their families—who still love and grieve for them. May God bless our fallen heroes and all who serve.”
The George W. Bush Presidential Center shared a message from former President George W. Bush, which stated, “Laura and I are thinking of all the brave men and women who died in defense of our freedom. The debt American owes them runs deep and never ends. May God be with their loved ones today and every day.”
Former President Bill Clinton tweeted, “On this Memorial Day, I am remembering all those who sacrificed to defend our freedom and democracy.”
The holiday originated in the 1860s as Americans began holding memorials and tributes to the soldiers lost in the Civil War. In 1868, Northern Civil War veterans leader Gen. John A. Logan called for the 30th of May that year to be a designated day to decorate the graves of soldiers who died in the war. From then on, the day was called Decoration Day, and it continued to be celebrated on May 30.
It wasn’t until Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act in 1968 that the day became officially known as Memorial Day, a federal holiday, and would be celebrated on the last Monday in May in order to establish a three-day weekend for federal workers. The change became effective in 1971.
Parades and memorial ceremonies take place around the country each Memorial Day. It has also become customary for the President of the United States to release a proclamation and lay a wreath to commemorate the fallen.