Memorial Day to many conjures images of parades and backyard barbeques: the unofficial start of summer. It’s worth remembering, while you hit the beach and enjoy the fireworks, that the holiday has a much deeper meaning.
Beginning in 1868, after the Civil War, the holiday was established to honor the Americans who died fighting for the United States.
Some 150 years later, the day lives on as a reminder of those who serve in the Armed Forces, but mostly to commemorate and honor the people who sacrificed their lives for the freedom of the U.S.A.
“For love of country, they accepted death.” — James Garfield
While there is not an exact equivalent to the U.S. Memorial Day in Mexico, there are many observances and national holidays that focus on remembering deceased heroes and loved ones as well as important moments in the nation’s history.
For example, March 21 is the birthday memorial of Benito Juarez. November 20 is the memorial day in honor of the Mexican Revolution, which is observed by a day off on the following Monday. Independence Day is a day of national pride as the nation’s freedom is celebrated.
All Saints’ Day is celebrated on October 31 for deceased children and on November 1 for all deceased loved ones. Families visit the graves of their relatives to show respect, some picnicking or leaving mementos in honor of the individuals.
- Vallarta Today