Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States for remembering the people who died while serving in the country’s armed forces.The holiday, which is observed every year on the last Monday of May, originated as Decoration Day after the American Civil War in 1868, when the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of Union veterans founded in Decatur, Illinois, established it as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the Union war dead with flowers. By the 20th century, competing Union and Confederate holiday traditions, celebrated on different days, had merged, and Memorial Day eventually extended to honor all Americans who died while in the military service. I still think this speech from President Ronald Reagan says it best. It is not about BBQ, beer and beaches, but really about headstones in cemeteries from Arlington, VA to Saipan in the Northern Mariana Islands, from Missoula, MT to Andersonville, GA. Names on Post Offices and memories in the hearts of mothers, fathers, wives, husbands, sons and daughters. This is not a day about politics, but about remembering the men and women who gave their lives is service and defense of the  United States.



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