Remembering Those That Made The Ultimate Sacrifice

Memorial Day 2015

We can never repay the men and women who have died while serving in the United States Armed Forces, but we can honor them by never forgetting their ultimate sacrifice. Memorial Day is the official U.S. federal holiday set aside to help all citizenry come together and do just that through community events, parades and other ceremonies.

May 25, 2015 marks the 49th year for the official Memorial Day holiday, although the general concept has been around since just after the American Civil War. Formerly known as Decoration Day, the concept of Memorial Day originated shortly after the American Civil War as a way to commemorate both Union and Confederate soldiers who died fighting in the war. The name Memorial Day was not commonly used until after World War II – it was made the official name by Federal law in 1967.

The official day of observance for Memorial Day is the last Monday of every May, however prior to 1971 the holiday was always observed on May 30th. The change was made, along with the dates for three additional holidays, as part of the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which moved the observance days to specific Mondays to set up three-day weekends. Some people argue that this change has helped to diminish the true meaning of Memorial Day, particularly in the minds of the general public.

There are many ways to participate in the observance of Memorial Day. The previous name for the holiday, Decoration Day, was in reference to the common practice of placing American flags, flowers and other decorations on the graves of service men and women who have died in military service. This practice still takes place today in cemeteries across the country. Even if you don’t take part in the actual decorating of the graves, visiting cemeteries and memorials is a good way to show your support. Small towns and larger cities across the United States also hold parades, concerts and other ceremonies in remembrance of fallen soldiers, so you should have no problem finding something in your local area.

Whatever you do on Memorial Day, be sure to take time to remember those that gave their all for their country.