Did you know that Memorial Day (formerly called Decoration Day) originated in the United States after the Civil War to commemorate the fallen Union soldiers? By the 20th century, it became a day to honor Americans who died in all wars or while serving in the United States Armed Forces. Later, it came to include a more general remembrance of any deceased relatives. Today, it seems to be mainly the kick-off of summer, a day off for shopping and barbecues, and time for the Indianapolis 500.
For many, however, like my friend, John, Memorial Day maintains the spirit of its original intent. John, a veteran who served in the Navy, shares these impressions of the holiday:
I had the privilege of attending a Memorial Day service at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C. It was incredibly touching and inspiring. I recommend that anyone who wishes to understand the true meaning of Memorial Day attend a service at one of the national cemeteries. The one at Arlington is particularly impressive.
It has been my privilege to know the many people I remember each Memorial Day, including many who served in World War II and my dad who served in World War I.
I miss them and honor their service.