A day to pay tribute to those who served

Posted: Sunday, May 28, 2000

Monday's a federal holiday, a day when most of us will take off a day from work, maybe have a picnic, mow the lawn or some such thing. Most businesses close, although there will be some great sales.

But in our rush to enjoy a day without punching a clock, let's remember why we even get this day off. It's Memorial Day, a chance for us to thank and remember those who have died in defense of our country.

Let's face it, without those who have served their country, we may not have had a Memorial Day to celebrate.

Also called Decoration Day, this holiday originally was to commemorate soldiers killed in the American Civil War. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, Memorial Day was first officially proclaimed on May 5, 1868, by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic. It was first observed on May 30 of that year by having flowers placed at Arlington National Cemetery on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers.

Since then, the holiday has been extended to honor all U.S. citizens who have died in war.

So while you're enjoying the holiday, take a moment to remember what it's all about.

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