On this national holiday that affords so many of us the opportunity to enjoy a three day weekend, let’s not forget what Memorial Day signifies.
Originally known as Decoration Day, it began in the years following the Civil War to honor those who had died from both the North and the South. It wasn’t until after the Second World War that the holiday gained a strong following and national identity. It was officially named Memorial Day in 1967.
In 1968, Congress declared that Memorial Day should be observed on the last Monday in May and in 1971, Congress declared it to be a federal holiday. Since then, many of us have been ensured a three-day weekend, and we now view Memorial Day as the beginning of our summer fun.
There is certainly nothing wrong with summer, or fun, however, maybe we also should reflect more on all of the conflicts in our nation’s history that prompted this day, and truly honor it as a day of remembrance as well. So many men and women gave everything, their very lives, to ensure the freedoms that we enjoy today.
So have fun with family and friends today, but also remember all who have died serving in the American armed forces and be thankful. Also, let’s never take for granted the freedom they defended and granted to us by the grace of God.