Memorial Day - Much More Than A Three-Day Weekend

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As we celebrate this three-day weekend lazing around the swimming pool, it is quite easy to forget that Memorial Day weekend is not just a celebration of the beginning of summer, but also, a day to honor the brave men and women who have sacrificed their lives whilst serving in our armed forces.

Started by General John Logan, the National Commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, as a way to unite the country following the civil war, Memorial Day was first observed on May 30th, 1868. He celebrated it by placing flowers on the graves of both Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington's National Cemetery.

By 1890, all the Northern States began to observe Memorial Day - However, the States in the South refused to join in - Instead, choosing other days to honor their fallen heroes. Though they finally succumbed after World War I, when the holiday changed from honoring those who had died in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war, some southern states still have an additional day to honor those soldiers that lost their lives in the Confederate war.

While observed all over the country, it was not until 1971 that it was declared a National holiday and moved from May 30th to the last Monday of May, so that people could enjoy a three-day weekend. Though having an extra holiday is a great idea, it has resulted in some of the significance of the day being lost. Kids equate the day to the 'beginning of summer' or the 'first day when swimming pools open', while adults fret about their barbeque parties.

To try revive the significance, a humanitarian organization in Washington D.C. came up with the idea of a 'National Moment of Remembrance', which asks everyone to observe a minute of silence at 3.00 pm (local time) to honor our heroes - The least we all can do in return for what they have done for us.

So this memorial day as you chow down on your burgers and slurp on your root beer floats, do take a minute to reflect on all those brave men and women who have sacrificed themselves for our nation and allowed you this freedom.

Happy Memorial Day!

source: huffingtonpost.com, memorialdaytribute.com,usmemorialday,org

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119 Comments
  • GENERALALE SAMabout 6 years
    I miss you lost warriors
    • Helllllooooooooalmost 7 years
      Soooooo sad
      • yearnusyer
        yearnusyerabout 7 years
        i feel so bad about these people
        • yearnusyer
          yearnusyerabout 7 years
          happy memorial day this is a little late sorry
          • starbutterflyabout 7 years
            so sad i'm like crying right now !!!!
            • benabout 7 years
              so sad
              • faceabout 7 years
                so cool and sad =( but call of duty is the bomb
                • zionabout 7 years
                  this is so sad
                  • marrisaabout 8 years
                    this is a very important topic
                    • Elsaabout 8 years
                      It should say instead of, thank you, I miss you daddy