Why We Celebrate Memorial Day

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To most of us Memorial Day weekend is just an opportunity to spend three-days lazing around the pool making plans for the upcoming summer vacation, or hitting the malls looking for bargains. Hence it is often easy to forget the real significance of this holiday - A day to honor the brave men and women who have sacrificed their lives whilst serving in our armed forces.

Started by General John Logan, the National Commander of the Grand Army of the Republic as a way to unite the country following the Civil War, Memorial Day was first observed on May 30th, 1868, by simply placing flowers on the graves of both Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington's National Cemetery.

By 1890, all the Northern States began to observe Memorial Day. However, the states in the south refused to join in, and instead chose other days to honor their fallen heroes. Though they finally succumbed after World War I, when the holiday changed from honoring those who had died in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war, some Southern States also set aside an additional day to honor those soldiers that lost their lives in the Confederate war.

In 1971, Memorial Day was declared a national holiday and moved from May 30th to the last Monday of May, so that Americans could enjoy a three-day weekend. Though having an extra holiday is a great idea, the significance of the day has been somewhat diminished. Kids think of it as holiday that marks the 'beginning of summer' or the 'first day when swimming pools open', while adults, fret about their barbeque parties.

To try revive the significance, a humanitarian organization in Washington D.C. came up with the idea of a 'National Moment of Remembrance', which asks every American to observe a minute of silence at 3.00 pm (local time) to honor our heroes - The least we can do, in return for the ultimate sacrifice that the soldiers made for us.

So on this Memorial Day, as you chow down on your burgers and slurp on your root beer floats, do take a minute to reflect on all those brave men and women who gave up their lives for our nation and allowed you this freedom.

Happy Memorial Day!

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126 Comments
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  • HaylynnMonday, April 10, 2017 at 3:02 pm
    That is so so so so so sad
    • r jockerTuesday, May 31, 2016 at 7:05 am
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      • TigerThursday, May 26, 2016 at 10:06 am
        I cant believe it so saddddd!!!!!!!!!
        • #pickleboy222Thursday, May 26, 2016 at 8:05 am
          No crying peeps about the cuz thats just wierd.
          • #pickleboy222Thursday, May 26, 2016 at 8:03 am
            i feel bad :P:(
            • Essentiel WioWednesday, May 25, 2016 at 7:20 am
              I feel bad #So sad
              • rjWednesday, May 25, 2016 at 7:10 am
                please Help them when you grow up peeps
                • air force wolfMonday, May 23, 2016 at 7:38 am
                  I fele bad for the family who lost a meber.
                  • gggrMonday, May 23, 2016 at 7:18 am
                    not sad
                    • discojammer49Wednesday, May 27, 2015 at 1:24 pm
                      This is the sadest thing i have ever seen!

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