Friday, May 22, 2009
The University of West Georgia will be closed in observance of Memorial Day on Monday, May 25, and will reopen on Tuesday, May 26, at 8 a.m.
Memorial Day is a federal holiday observed on the last Monday of May. Formerly known as Decoration Day, it commemorates U.S. men and women who died while in the military service.
First enacted to honor Union soldiers of the American Civil War and celebrated near the day of reunification after the civil war, the observance was expanded after World War I to include American casualties of any war or military action.
The alternative name of "Memorial Day" was first used in 1882. The name became more common after World War II and was as the official name by Federal law in 1967.
In 1968, Congress passed the Uniform Holidays Bill, which moved Memorial Day from its traditional May 30 date to the last Monday in May. The law took effect at the federal level in 1971.