Today we’d like to share with you a post that we first wrote in 2014. As we were thinking about the meaning of this holiday, we found it helpful to remember its roots.
In the United States, today is Memorial Day. Over the years this has come to mean many different things—the beginning of summer, the running of the Indianapolis 500, and a day of countless sales—everything from makeup to lawn furniture. It can be hard to remember why we have this holiday at all.
Memorial Day is the one day
when we reflect as a nation
on the sacrifices of the men and women
who died while serving our country.
In 1862, it was established as Decoration Day, and was an apolitical event to commemorate the thousands of both Union and Confederate soldiers who died during the Civil War. Following World War II, Decoration Day was expanded to commemorate all of the men and women who died while serving the USA in the military.
In the 1970s it was renamed Memorial Day and moved to the last Monday in May, a decision that probably helped to dilute the meaning of the day by creating the coveted 3-day weekend it has become.
This year we hope you are enjoying the long weekend and we would like to encourage you to take a moment to remember the men and women who have given their lives protecting our country. The families of the fallen service men and women would deeply appreciate a moment of our time to remember their sons, daughters, fathers, mothers, brothers, and sisters.
Whether or not you agree with the policies of the United States military, there is no denying that military individuals and families have given much to our country. For their sacrifice, we say thank you.