Photo of the Day 26 May 2008

Memorial Day Salute, Minnesota, 2000
Photograph by Richard Olsenius

A Veterans of Foreign Wars honor guard stands at attention for a three-round salute in honor of Memorial Day.

First widely observed in 1868, Decoration Day, as it was originally known, was a time to honor fallen Civil War soldiers by decorating their graves. In 1971, the U.S. Congress made Memorial Day a national holiday honoring all Americans who have died in service to their country.