In the period following the Vietnam War, as the nation largely ignored its military heritage, Memorial Day simply became another long weekend for most Americans. But the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have put days like Memorial Day and Veterans Day in the forefront once again.
A day to remember the Union dead of the Civil War spontaneously appeared after the end of the conflict. While lingering resentments in the South kept it a regional holiday for almost century (while a Confederate Memorial Day independently developed), it gradually became a national event. Following World War I, the holiday