A Memorial Day Celebration

What is Memorial Day?

Memorial Day is an American holiday dedicated to honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. It became an official federal holiday in 1971 and is observed on the last Monday of May. Memorial Day has a history dating back to the Civil War and Decoration Day, a day initially set aside to honor those who died during the Civil War.

While honoring and remembering veterans is always a good thing, Memorial Day is a day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect their country. You probably won’t offend any veterans by wishing them a happy Memorial Day, but we should remember that this is not the purpose of this holiday.

This year, Memorial Day occurs on Monday, May 25.

Many people take weekend trips, go camping, throw parties, or cookouts on Memorial Day weekend. For many, it unofficially marks the beginning of summer. And that is fine. I hope these people will also take a few minutes to observe and remember the reason behind their long weekend.

Each year on Memorial Day, a national moment of remembrance takes place at 3:00 p.m. local time. Maybe you could take a quiet break in your festivities to observe this solemn moment?

Cities, towns, and homes throughout the United States hold celebration activities, fly the American flag, or hold Memorial Day parades. These parades often include uniformed military personnel and/or members of veterans’ organizations. The largest parades take place in cities such as Chicago, New York, and Washington, D.C.

Many Americans also observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries and memorials. I like to do this and have helped a few boy scout troops place American flags at grave markers over the years. And, some people wear a red poppy in remembrance of those fallen in war—a tradition that began with a World War I poem.

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

John McCrae

Please remember the reason for this particular day and take a moment to honor those who have sacrificed their lives so you could live the life you choose.

18 thoughts on “A Memorial Day Celebration”

  1. Thank you for such an important reminder of what this holiday holds and who it is for. It is with fond rememberance that we honor those who have fallen in the service of our country. And I salute all those who have served and do serve in our proud armed forces. May we never forget the price paid for our freedom! Semper Fi!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.