The United States Embassy in Kenya on Monday, May 29, explained that it had closed its offices for 24 hours in solidarity with the American citizens.

In a statement, the embassy’s office in Nairobi explained that Americans were honouring soldiers who had lost their lives in battle and therefore across the world, the embassies remained closed.

Every year on the last Monday of May, American citizens take the day off from work to attend parades and visit war memorials as others say a prayer at a relative’s grave.

“On Memorial Day 2023, the Embassy is closed in honour of the men and women who gave their lives while serving their country,” the statement from the Embassy read in part.

Many of the citizens visit the Arlington National Cemetery. The cemetery is the final resting place for U.S. military personnel who pass away in every major American conflict since the Revolutionary War.

Additionally, two US presidents including the late President William Howard and the late President John F. Kennedy were buried at the graveyard.

The U.S. Department of State’s platform Share America detailed that the remains of over 400,000 military personnel and their eligible next of kin since the revolutionary war were interred at the cemetery.

More than 400,000 service members who died while on active duty, veterans, and their eligible next-of-kin are interred at the cemetery, which currently spans nearly 260 hectares and has plans for an additional 80,000 burial plots,” Share America stated. 

According to an Arlington National Cemetery historian Tim Frank, at first, many families did not want their relatives to be buried at the cemetery but that changed when the late President Grant was buried at the site.

Grant led the Union Army to victory in the Civil War, and paid tribute at more than one Decoration Day ceremony.

“We really credit Decoration Day with making Arlington our premier national cemetery and thousands of people came to Arlington to decorate the graves with flowers. And then we started seeing more and more generals and admirals,” Frank told Share America. 

Memorial Day was established by Congress in 1971, the last Monday of May,  as a federal holiday to honour those who died while serving in the military.

By kenyans

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