Memorial Day is a U.S. federal holiday observed the last Monday of May. It originally honored those killed in the American Civil War but has since become a day on which the American dead of all wars are remembered. In 1971 Memorial Day was declared a national holiday by Congress. In December 2000, “The National Moment of Remembrance Act,” P.L. 106-579 was passed which encourages all Americans to pause at 3 p.m. local time for a minute of silence to bring to mind those who died in service to country. Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer and retailers have sales and special offers on summer apparel, outdoor products, DIY, travel and other items associated with summer activities.