Formerly known as Decoration Day to honor the soldiers who died in the Civil War, Memorial Day was changed to honor all who had died in military service. Decorating national memorials with wreaths of flowers and the graves of those who had given their service was the usual ancient tradition of Decoration Day.
Memorial Day was declared the official name by Federal law in 1967. On Memorial Day, the US flag is raised briskly to the top of the staff and then lowered to the half staff position in honor of those who died in service for the morning hours; millions of men and women who are remembered, and then at noon, the flag is raised to full position. This reminds the living that we must strive on and up to fight for the liberty of all Americans.
Though we think of Memorial day as a three-day weekend with family, barbecue and the promise of summer, it is a time to say thank you. Besides the soldiers, sailors and airmen that define our history, Memorial Day is also the time to be thankful for the men and women who courageously fight today and sacrifice their own desires.
What can you do that will help honor our soldiers of the past and present?
- Journal and frame research of your Great Grandpa’s fight in World War II
- Hang your flag from your front porch or balcony
- Post a special message on Facebook for someone fighting for our freedom
- Send a special letter or thank you note to a soldier
- Renew a pledge to aid others
- Increase awareness by visiting the Memorial Day Foundation
Unanimously, the military asks one favor and that is to take one small break within your day to remember them as they were, as they are and for those that still serve, a promise for a prosperous future.