Amid the family get-togethers, picnics, bar-b-ques and celebrating we often forget what exactly Memorial Day is about. In 1868 on the 5th of May General John Logan declared the 30th of May to be Decoration Day decorate the graves of “comrades who died in the defense of their country during the late rebellion (Civil War), and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land.” The first Decoration Day was celebrated at Arlington National Cemetery where 20,000 graves of Union and Confederate soldiers were decorated by over 5,000 people. In 1971 the National Holiday Act made Memorial Day a Federal holiday to be celebrated on the last Monday in May.
In December of 2000, after the passing of National Moment of Remembrance resolution, all Americans are asked to pause what they are doing for a moment of silence at 3:00pm local time on Memorial Day.
As many of us enjoy a day off tomorrow, let’s take a moment to remember our fallen brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers, sons and daughters as well as the veterans and soldiers that have returned home. These men and women have given more than any civilian will ever know. To all the veterans, servicemen and servicewoman and their families; thank you, may you have a day of peace and rest. To our brothers and sisters that are serving overseas, may you return home safely.