In our all too busy lives, too many of us look at this day for more personal reasons than the one reason we all should be thinking about. It is a three-day weekend for most, a day to enjoy outdoor barbecues, opening the family swimming pool, getting ready for Summer and, of course, a day to visit stores and look for items on sale that we all most certainly need. To those who served their country and fought for our freedom, the memory of this day takes on a more significant and rightful purpose.
The holiday, which is celebrated every year on the final Monday of May, was formerly known as Decoration Day and originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the Union and Confederate soldiers who died in the Civil War. By the 20th century, Memorial Day had been extended to honor all Americans who have died while in the military service. It typically marks the start of the summer vacation season, while Labor Day marks its end.
Many people visit cemeteries and memorials, particularly to honor those who have died in military service. Many volunteers place an American flag on each grave in national cemeteries.
It is a day to give thanks to those of made the ultimate sacrifice to keep us free. "All gave some, some gave all."
|Artist Lee Teeter's "Vietnam Reflections" painting portrays an image of fallen soldiers in the reflection of the Vietnam Memorial Wall|
and a grief-stricken man as he remembers his fallen friends and loved ones.