Memorial day originated as Decoration Day in Decatur Illinois. A veterans group who sought to honor veterans who had given their lives in all of America’s wars founded the event in 1868. By 1882 the name had begun to morph into “Memorial Day” and the event had slowly become more of a national day of remembrance. On its 99th year of observance, Memorial Day became an official national holiday in 1967.
At the time of this writing, America has lost 1,354,664 lives to war since the fight for independence began in 1775. Unfortunately, freedom does not come cheap. Those lives are the real cost. We should never forget the blood and the tears that won us this freedom. We owe it to those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
How should we observe Memorial Day? There are many ways from attending your local Memorial Day parade to participation in the National Moment of Remembrance. Boy Scout troops and civic organization organize cleanup events for old war monuments. Even if your observance is as simple as some quiet time at a national cemetery for contemplation and gratitude, it is important that the meaning of this day is not lost. It’s far more important than just a Monday off.
– Andy Merciers