© 2024 WXPR
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Veterans Secretary Reminds Citizens Of Meaning of Memorial Day


Memorial Day remembers the people who died serving in the country's armed forces. The holiday is observed every year on the last Monday of May. It originally was known as Decoration Day after the American Civil War in 1868. The Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of Union veterans founded in Decatur, Illinois, established the day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the Union war dead with flowers.

WXPR spoke with Wisconsin's Secretary of Veterans Affairs Daniel Zimmerman about the meaning of Memorial Day....

"....it's truly about remembering those that we have lost. Having spent 25 years in the active Army I've lost some folks that I was close to. To me, it's remembering them, and helping others remember those that they may have lost also...."

Secretary Zimmerman says the day provides an opportunity for Americans to remember their freedoms that are celebrated that were paid for by others. Zimmerman was appointed in February by Governor Walker to the post. Zimmerman succeeded John Scocos who retired in January.

Zimmerman has served in various places, including the  first Gulf War, Bosnia, Kosovo and Iraq.

Memorial Day was declared the official name by Federal law in 1967. In 1968, Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which moved four holidays, including Memorial Day, from their traditional dates to a specified Monday in order to create a convenient three-day weekend. The change moved Memorial Day from its traditional May 30 date to the last Monday in May.

Up North Updates
* indicates required
Related Content