Every year on the last Monday of May, schools close. Government offices close. Families gather for picnics in backyards and parks. Sometimes, there’s even a gazebo involved. For many of us, it’s the unofficial kick-off of summer.
But Memorial Day is about so much more than family fun in the sun.
Many believe that Memorial Day began as a day to remember the soldiers who fell in the American Civil War. The city of Waterloo, New York first remembered the fallen in 1866, an event which became a yearly tradition for the community. In 1966, the Federal Government officially credited Waterloo with the founding of Memorial Day. Memorial Day was declared a national holiday in 1971, a time of remembrance for all of our nation’s fallen heroes.
Image courtesy Cox & Forkum
Today, Chicago, New York, Washington, DC and other cities will host massive parades. There are festivities across the nation.
But there are also grieving families. Many, many grieving families who today will remember the husbands, brothers, sons, fathers, wives, sisters, daughters and mothers who left to serve and never returned home.
Whether it be at parade or picnic, each of us should take time this holiday to remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for us, our families, our livelihoods, and our freedom. Without them, there would be no America.
We owe our heroes and their families a debt of gratitude. So amid the parties and the picnics, please don’t forget that some gave all, all gave some… and they are what we celebrate – they are who we remember this Memorial Day. Because freedom isn’t free.