Memorial Day is tomorrow, May 25, and many people have a plan of some sort for the holiday weekend. Some people may plan to just relax, some may have an out-of-town trip planned, others may have parties to go to while some may be hosting a party, and there are those who just want to spend time with friends and family. Many individuals may be off work for the holiday so the goal for them is probably just to enjoy the three-day weekend in the best way possible. One important thing to remember is that Memorial Day is a day to honor fallen heroes and should not be considered just a day for partying.
An article for Yahoo News pointed out how people tend to get caught up in the celebration of the holiday and forget the real reason Memorial came to be. Memorial Day is about so much more than partying. It is about honoring individuals who served our country in one way or another. The goal when the holiday was created, the article went on, was to honor the fallen heroes of The United States and their bravery. These people put themselves at risk to keep this country safe. They sacrificed their lives so that others could have a chance at life and feel safer. Their bravery, sacrifice, and honor should never be forgotten.
The article went on to say that 1,473,900 men and women from The United States are on active duty right now. As many as 10,000 have been sent to Iraq and Afghanistan. Some have lost their lives while others fight for their lives daily. The day is meant to honor these people as well. They are just as brave and honorable as those who served before them. They are making a huge contribution and sacrifice and this should always be remembered. Memorial Day is so much more than a day of fun, it is a day for honoring brave individuals.
Memorial Day supposedly began, according to Yahoo News, after the Civil War in order to honor those who died from 1861-1865 in the Civil War. People from both sides have claimed to have started the holiday, but there is no way to prove who actually initiated it. Lyndon Johnson, who was president at the time, declared along with Congress that Waterloo, NY was starting place of the holiday in the year 1966.
Following World War I, the holiday was designated as a day to honor all American holidays and not just the Civil War. Memorial Day became a holiday officially in 1971. This was an act of congress. The National Moment of Remembrance Act was also created by Congress. The act involves people stopping for a moment on Memorial Day and having a period of silence to honor those who have been lost during war according to Forbes. It is a time to pay respect to all of the fallen heroes and the service they completed. Three in the afternoon is the time chosen for this period of silence.
Knowing and always remembering the true meaning of Memorial Day is essential. Memorial Day is a day meant for honoring heroes. It is about more than just having fun and celebrating. It is a holiday that has been celebrated for a long time and people should enjoy it, while keeping in mind the true significance of it. Many have lost their lives serving this country and they should be honored. Their sacrifice and bravery should always be remembered. This is the point of Memorial Day- to pay tribute to all of the brave individuals and their sacrifice. The United States would not be the powerful nation that it is without these people. They have fought for all residents of the United States to have rights and freedoms, so these fallen heroes should not be taken for granted nor what they fought for.
By Heather Granruth
Forbes: Memorial Day, 3 PM. Don’t Forget.
Yahoo News: Memorial Day 2015: A Salute to Vets, Past and Present
ABC News: Memorial Day 2015: The Real Story Behind the Holiday
Photo By Bill Dickinson’s Flickr Page- Creative Commons License