Memorial Day is an American holiday, observed on the last Monday of May, honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. It goes back to the Civil War era, post-1865 when people started to remember and honor their fallen relatives, friends, and neighbors. There was a huge loss of lives, primarily men sacrificed everything to fight for freedom and what became a united America.
Before 1971, it was known as Decoration Day and only became an official national holiday when Congress actually passed this in 1968 and ensured that we had a long weekend to remember fallen heroes.
It has since then expanded to all wars and conflicts, remembering all our fallen heroes who fought and gave their lives to defend freedom.
COVID-19 has put a damper on the public observation this year, but all Americans will still remember and take a moment of silence on Memorial Day. For many families, this day is very personal, as they have lost loved ones during these conflicts. We need to come together to remember and honor these heroes.
Each year on Memorial Day a national moment of remembrance takes place at 3:00 p.m. local time. Some people wear a red poppy in remembrance of those fallen in war.
This year, I’m certain we will remember all the first responders and medical teams who passed away during their battle against COVID-19.
In previous years, my son and I would have visited the cemeteries with his scout troop, planting flags at all the veteran graves and observed moments of silence as the officials held a ceremony honoring the fallen heroes.
We marched in a village parade, led by surviving veterans, and were greeted by residents as they waved American flags.
It is an honor to participate in these events, and brings the communities together. It is critical that we remember the past, honor the fallen, and celebrate their sacrifices.
After the parade and ceremony, we would have a BBQ feast. This would often spill over into family and friends gathering in the backyards, for even more BBQ, laughter, and roasted marshmallows.
Unofficially, Memorial Day also signals the beginning of summer.