Memorial Day is for family, friends, and remembrance of those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.
To many, Memorial Day is a long welcomed weekend spent outside making hot dogs and burgers on a grill. However, this is not the reason we celebrate this holiday. Memorial Day, in actuality, is a day to remember the men and women of this nation that made the ultimate sacrifice so that we may live free under our Star-Spangled Banner. It is a day to visit the graves of these brave service members and provide them the recognition that they rightly deserve.
According to History.com, the birth of Memorial Day (at first named Decoration Day) came after the end of The Civil War. The war claimed more lives than any conflict in U.S. history and required the establishment of the country’s first national cemeteries. By the late 1860s, Americans in various towns and cities had begun holding springtime tributes to these countless fallen soldiers, decorating their graves with flowers and reciting prayers.
For decades, Memorial Day continued to be observed on May 30, the date originally selected for the first Decoration Day. But in 1968, Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which established Memorial Day as the last Monday in May in order to create a three-day weekend for federal employees. The change went into effect in 1971. The same law also declared Memorial Day a federal holiday
While it is still a wonderful time to celebrate a long weekend with your friends and family, it is important not to lose sight of the real reason for this holiday. So while you are enjoying the outdoors and the quality time with your loved ones, be sure to take a moment and thank the veterans that are no longer with us that made it all possible.
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