For most, Memorial Day signals the start of summer. It is a weekend filled with barbecues, picnics, and sunshine. However, the origin of this long weekend has faded to the back of many minds. The real intention for this holiday is to honor the soldiers who have sacrificed their lives for our freedom. In order to do so, we must remember history behind this holiday and seek out ways to honor the fallen.
Some Facts About Memorial Day
Memorial Day started after the ending of the Civil War, inspired by the way people in the South honored their fallen. On May 5, 1868 General Logan, the Commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, established May 30th as an official holiday. Originally, Memorial Day was called Decoration Day, influenced by the families of the fallen who decorated graves with flowers and other decorations. Waterloo, New York is considered to be the birthplace of Memorial Day. In 2005, the first National Memorial Day Parade took place, and in 2010, a National Moment of Remembrance was established in order for all Americans to take a moment of silence at 3 o’clock in order to commemorate the fallen.
Ways to Honor the Fallen
Memorial Day is an opportunity for us to honor those that have lost their lives to ensure our freedom. A few simple ways to honor our fallen soldier are:
1. Tweet- Use the hashtag #wearegrateful and your tweet will be printed out and sent to troops worldwide
2. Fly a Flag- Show your pride for all to see
3. Pray- Pray for those who have fallen and their families
4. Attend a Parade- This allows you to pay tribute to those who have fallen and to veterans in the area
5. Honor the National Moment of Remembrance- Take a few moments at 3 o’clock to remember all of those who have given their lives for our country
Memorial Day is one of busiest and most frequently traveled weekends of the year, with approximately 35 million people traveling 50 or more miles. We often forget to honor those who have served for our freedom. So while you are preparing for the picnic at the beach or the barbecue in the park, be sure to make this Memorial Day one of remembrance- a day to be proud to be an American.