We must remember true meaning of Memorial Day

Many Southern states continued to celebrate Confederate Memorial Day as a parallel holiday and seven still do, although Georgia has stripped the word "Confederate" out of the name and marks April 26 only as the "official state holiday".

While most folks associate Memorial Day Weekend with all things fun, youthful, outdoors and summer, as we all should know, there's a deeper, more somber goal for the holiday. In nearly no time, it acquired a large membership and lobbied effectively for pensions and other benefits for the hundreds of thousands of men quickly mustered out of the U.S. Army after the Southern surrender. This provides a three-day weekend for Federal holidays.

Following World War I, the holiday extended to include all who have died in the American Armed Forces, though it wasn't until after World War II that the holiday gained a national following.

"Because of our fearless troops, the United States faces a bright future of freedom and prosperity", Feulner said.

Memorial Day weekend is considered the start of summer.

The holiday began as a commemoration of the armistice that ended World War I, which is why you'll see that other many other nations also celebrate it at the same time-namely the United Kingdom, Canada, and other Commonwealth countries that fought on the Allied side in World War I.

It should also be noted that Memorial Day is different from Veterans Day, which is celebrated each November 11th, and honors all who have served or are now serving in our military. Anyone who has ever stood somberly, raised his or her right arm, and enlisted in any branch of the US military (while swearing to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic") counts counted.

ARE you ready for Memorial Day? The heroes we honor cherished the ideals and values upon which this nation was founded nearly 241 years ago.

This holiday also is an appropriate occasion to honor these patriots and thank them for their service, we believe.

We have celebrated Memorial Day since 1868 when it was known as Decoration Day.

For their families and comrades-in-arms who served alongside them, there is certainly nothing "happy" about it. Since the time of our nation's birth, America continues to be the best example of freedom, hope, and strength to people of every nation, and we should never forget that everything we enjoy in this country has been bestowed upon us by the sacrifice of those patriots, who continue to protect us today.

Our service members now defending our nation share the same values as those who came before them and as those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

  • Larry Hoffman