This weekend we celebrate Memorial Day, a special day that honors those soldiers that have made the ultimate sacrifice in defending our country’s freedom. While we often commemorate the holiday with a barbecue or a picnic at the park, the day is really about those special men and women who have died while serving our country.
The holiday, which traditionally falls on the last Monday in May, was originally known as Decoration Day and was officially instated as a federal holiday in 1971. It is said that the birthplace of Memorial Day is in Waterloo, New York, where the first community events took place. When it was known as Decoration Day, General James Garfield gave a speech at Arlington National Cemetery honoring Civil War soldiers. Visitors honored over 20,000 Confederate and Union soldiers buried at the cemetery.
Many confuse the holiday with Veterans Day; while Memorial Day honors and remembers those who have died while serving our country, Veterans Day honors all the male and female veterans who have served with the military.
On Memorial Day, the U.S. flag is raised to the top of the staff then traditionally lowered to half-staff until 12 noon. In 2000, Congress passed the National Moment of Remembrance Act, where a national moment of silence takes place at 3:00 pm on Memorial Day in honor of those who have passed.
We honor and remember those brave soldiers who have sacrificed their lives for the freedoms we have. Join us in taking a national moment of silence on Monday at 3pm to pay our respects to the heroes of this great nation.