I probably don’t need to remind you that this Monday is Memorial Day here in America. It’s always celebrated the last Monday in May. I’m sure there will be countless barbeques and parties with people celebrating this weekend as the unofficial first weekend of summer. Many of you will visit loved one’s grave sites leaving flags and flowers. Ever since I was a young boy I can remember my family doing this.
For many years I didn’t understand the significance of this day. As a child I recall saying and hearing others say “Have a happy holiday weekend”. It wasn’t until I was an adult that it sunk in as to the meaning of this day.
Originally Memorial Day was known as Decoration Day. After the end of the Civil War in 1865 towns and cities across America began holding springtime tributes to the solders who lost their lives in battle by decorating their graves with flowers. On May 5, 1868, General John Logan called for a Nationwide day of remembrance.
In 1968 Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which made Memorial Day the last Monday in May for federal employees to have a three-day weekend. This law took effect in 1971 declaring Memorial Day a federal holiday.
According to the U.S. Army Military History Institute approximately 1.3 million Americans have lost their lives to war. On Monday at 3pm local time take part with many Americans across the county with a minute of silence remembering with gratitude and pride all those who served and died for our country and freedom.