What does Memorial Day mean to you? Vacationing? Cooking out? Relaxing on the couch for hours? Whatever it stands for, let’s take a moment and come back to the day’s true meaning.
Not to be confused with Veteran’s Day, which honors all veterans, Memorial Day specifically honors those who have died while serving in the United States military. Since 1775 there have been over 1.3 million who have made that sacrifice. While it originated in 1868, and was originally known as Decoration Day, Memorial Day didn’t become a federal holiday until 1971.
Now celebrated nationwide on the last Monday in May, Memorial Day is a time of remembrance and gratitude for those who gave everything so we can be free… to go on vacation… to cook out… to have a relaxing day off. It’s a time to reflect on just how lucky we really are.
Here’s what President Ronald Reagan had to say in 1986:
Today is the day we put aside to remember fallen heroes and to pray that no heroes will ever have to die for us again. It’s a day of thanks for the valor of others, a day to remember the splendor of America and those of her children who rest in this cemetery and others. It’s a day to be with the family and remember. — Ronald Reagan, Arlington National Cemetery
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