A Memorial Day ceremony will begin at 10:45 a.m., Monday, May 30, at Rock Island National Cemetery.

There will be no parking at the cemetery for this ceremony except for individuals in wheelchairs, a news release says.

Parking for all others will be behind Memorial Park in the large lot. Buses will transport people from the parking lot to the cemetery and will run 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Visitors should arrive early to ensure enough time to park their vehicles and be transported to the cemetery.

Memorial Park is off of the main Island road, Rodman Avenue at the corner of East Street. For more information, call 309-782-2094.

Memorial Day represents a day of national awareness and reverence, honoring the military men and women who gave their lives in defense of the nation and its values, the release says.

Memorial Day honors fallen service members while Veterans Day is an opportunity for Americans to publicly recognize living military veterans.

The history of Memorial Day

Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day. It was first widely observed on May 30, 1868, to commemorate the sacrifices of Civil War soldiers and a day to honor the nation’s Civil War dead by decorating their graves.

Major General John A. Logan, commander-in-chief, Grand Army of the Republic, proclaimed May 30 as Decoration Day by General Order No. 11.

The Uniform Monday Holiday Act moved Memorial Day from May 30 to the last Monday in May. The law took effect in 1971 at the federal level. In 2000, Congress established the National Moment of Remembrance on Memorial Day.