Diversity Corner News
Month of May 2014; Memorial Day 2014
Remembering the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces
This day is set aside to celebrate and honor US men and women who have died serving their country in the military. For many Americans, this day marks the start of summer.
Memorial Day started as an event to honor Union soldiers, who had died during the American Civil War. It was inspired by the way people in the Southern states honored their dead. After World War I, it was extended to include all men and women, who died in any war or military action.
Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day. The current name for this day did not come into use until after World War II. Decoration Day and then Memorial Day used to be held on May 30, regardless of the day of the week on which it fell. In 1968, the Uniform Holidays Bill was passed as part of a move to use federal holidays to create three-day weekends. This meant that from 1971, the Memorial Day holiday has been officially observed on the last Monday in May. However, it took a longer period for all US states to recognize the new date.
Celebrating Diversity - Month of May 2014
May is Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in the United States. The month of May was chosen to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese to the US on May 7, 1843, and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. The majority of the workers who laid the tracks on the project were Chinese immigrants.
May is also Older Americans Month, established in 1963 to honor the legacies and contributions of older Americans and to support them as they enter their next stage of life.
May 21 is World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development, a day set aside by the United Nations as an opportunity to deepen our understanding of the values of cultural diversity and to learn to live together better.
May 25 is Lailat al Mairaj. On this day, Muslims celebrate Prophet Muhammad’s night journey from Makkah to Jerusalem and his ascension to heaven.