On Memorial Day, President Donald Trump decided to tweet this:

"Happy Memorial Day!" the message began. "Those who died for our great country would be very happy and proud at how well our country is doing today. Best economy in decades, lowest unemployment numbers for Blacks and Hispanics EVER (& women in 18years), rebuilding our Military and so much more. Nice!"

We rarely see political messages like that one shared on Memorial Day. Many Americans (and certainly most politicians) avoid wishing others a "happy" Memorial Day. The holiday — which has existed in some form dating back to at least the 1860s — honors Americans who've lost their lives serving in the armed forces. It's a sobering day.

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In the years following the bitter Civil War, a former Union general took a holiday originated by former Confederates and helped spread it across the entire country.

The holiday was Memorial Day, and the 2018 commemoration on May 28 marks the 150th anniversary of its official nationwide observance. The annual commemoration was born in the former Confederate States in 1866 and adopted by the United States in 1868. It is a holiday in which the nation honors its military dead.

Gen. John A. Logan, who headed the largest Union veterans fraternity at that time, the Grand Army of the Republic, is usually credited as being the originator of the holiday.

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