Memorial Day is a national holiday in the United States and has been since 1866. It was originally known as “Decoration Day” and was traditionally observed on May 30. The federal holiday was changed in 1971 to the last Monday in May in order to have a three-day weekend.
The change in the observance of Memorial Day most likely watered down the meaning of the day. Many Americans have forgotten – maybe never learned – why we have Memorial Day. Some of these individuals and families use the three-day weekend to go hiking, camping, or partying and never give a thought to the real purpose of the day.
However, Memorial Day is day set apart to honor the American men and women who died during combat. It is a day for us to ponder and to contemplate the sacrifices made by men and women when they stood between their homeland and the enemy.
Decoration Day was created after the Civil War to remember soldiers that fought for both the Union and the Confederacy.
More Americans were lost during the Civil War (620,000) then died in both World Wars combined (521,000). Factor in the differences in population and you can imagine how hard of a hit the war between the north and the south was on the country itself.
It is altogether fitting that we observe Memorial Day by visiting the gravesites of our loved ones, gathering together as families, and even participating in parades to honor the day. We should make every attempt possible to honor those men and women who left their homes and families in order to protect our homes and families. For those families who lost loved ones in service to the nation, every day is Memorial Day.
Post a Comment