In 2000, President Bill Clinton signed the National Moment of Remembrance Act, which designates 3:00 p.m. local time on Memorial Day each year as the National Moment of Remembrance.
In 1996, a humanitarian organization based in Washington, D.C., known as ‘No Greater Love’ conducted a survey on American children asking them why they think there is a holiday on Memorial Day. The results were alarming in that not many children understood the great significance of the holiday. Many noted things like extended weekends with friends and family, barbecues and parties, as well as opening day at local swimming pools. Few had any idea that the day was meant to honor and remember the sacrifices of the soldiers in whose honor it is celebrated.
As a result, the organization came up with the idea of the ‘National Moment of Remembrance’ to ensure future generations would understand the significance and true meaning of Memorial Day. In 2000, President Clinton declared the National Moment of Remembrance Act Public Law No. 106-579 on December 28, 2000 and was signed on December 29.
Each Memorial Day, the Nation honors those Americans who died while defending our Nation and its values. While these heroes should be honored every day for their profound contribution to securing our Nation’s freedom, they and their families should be especially honored on Memorial Day. The observance of a National Moment of Remembrance is a simple and unifying way to commemorate our history and honor the struggle to protect our freedoms.
-President Bill Clinton