Mother's Day in the United States is an annual holiday celebrated on the second Sunday in May. Mother's Day recognizes mothers, motherhood and maternal bonds in general, as well as the positive contributions that they make to society. Although many Mother's Day celebrations world-wide have quite different origins and traditions, most have now been influenced by the more recent American tradition established by Anna Jarvis, who campaigned for the holiday. Organized by Jarvis, the first official Mother's Day was celebrated at St. Andrew's Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia, which now holds the International Mother's Day Shrine. Previous attempts at establishing Mother's Day in the United States sought to promote peace by means of honoring mothers who had lost or were at risk of losing their sons to war.
Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States for remembering the people who died while serving in the country's armed forces. The holiday, which is observed every year on the last Monday of May, originated as Decoration Day after the American Civil War in 1868, when the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of Union veterans founded in Decatur, Illinois, established it as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. By the 20th century, competing Union and Confederate holiday traditions, celebrated on different days, had merged, and Memorial Day eventually extended to honor all Americans who died while in the military service. It typically marks the start of the summer vacation season, while Labor Day marks its end.