President Trump observes Memorial Day with somber service at Arlington

That's the estimated number of Americans who have died fighting for their country in the nation's various wars. Gen. John Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of Union veterans, that really started the ball rolling for a national celebration of Memorial Day.

"We can never replace them".

Throughout Memorial Day weekend many of your social media feeds will be filled with comments of people thanking veterans for their service, and while that's nice it's not the reason for this federal holiday.

The president is to deliver his first Memorial Day address and lay a wreath at the cemetery, the final resting place for many USA military members and others who have served the country.

"You can see it in people's faces that they're a little horrified that they forget this is what the day's about", said Jaslow, 34, who wears a bracelet bearing the name of a fallen comrade. At 12 years old, his father decided this would be the year to show him and his siblings why dad gets a three day holiday from his job at Mayport Naval Station. Some things are as Plato said: "'good and true and attractive'".

Following World War I, the holiday was adjusted to remember the fallen of any American war and it became a national holiday in 1971.

"Everyone is more in tune with veterans, more so than when I was in the service", he said. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, more than 1 million Americans have perished in conflicts dating back to the Revolutionary War. But they, too, cringe when they hear: "Happy Memorial Day". On Monday, Trump also made special mention of former Sen.

"While we can not know the extent of your pain, what we do know is that our gratitude to them and to you is boundless and undying", he said. In a world awash with change, some things stand firm.

"I believe that God has a special place in heaven for those who lay down their lives so others can live free of fear", he said at Arlington National Cemetery. It's not about the picnics. There is debate to this day as to which US community became the first to mark a specific day as Memorial Day.

As you wait today for the coals on the barbecue to heat up, it's worth reflecting on some of the words from Logan's proclamation, which calls on the living to guard, with "sacred vigilance", the graves of those Americans who have died serving their country.

  • Larry Hoffman