Sunday, May 25, 2008

Happy Memorial Day!

Tomorrow we observe Memorial Day. Memorial Day has been observed nationally since 1868. The purpose of the day is to remember our soldiers who perished in service. It was originally called "Decoration Day", referring to the practice of decorating soldiers' burial places with flowers and flags.

Decoration Day or Memorial Day was observed every year on May 30th, since that day was considered neutral and not significant to any specific battle. In the late 1960s, the day of observance was changed to the last Monday of May, in order to create a convenient 3-day weekend.

Many service organizations lament the change for convenience, claiming that the change undermines the meaning of the day and increased the retail and public perception that the day is the unofficial start of summer.

However you celebrate your day off, I hope you take a minute to remember the original purpose of Memorial Day and appreciate the legacy of patriotism and sacrifice that we have inherited since the Revolutionary War. If you need an "official" minute, there happens to be one. It's at 3pm Eastern time on Memorial Day, and is referred to as the National Moment of Remembrance.

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