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Memorial Day-Never forget: They Gave Their Lives for US!

by Ruth Storkel

It’s the last weekend of May, the “unofficial beginning” of summer and Memorial Day weekend! Let’s stop a moment and thankfully remember our brave patriots who fought for our freedom! The many blessings we are experiencing now are because of what they did then. 

Monday, May 28, is Memorial Day. This is not just a day of picnicking, camping, boating, and vacationing with family and friends! All across our nation, people will decorate graves, go to parades, and hold remembrance ceremonies to honor those who gave their lives for this great country named America; we owe them unspeakable honor and thanks! We have no idea what great sacrifices they made, fighting because they loved God, their families, their country, and the Constitutional principles upon which our great land was founded.

Memorial Day is a solemn day to reflect on deceased veterans and military personnel. All across America, Americans will stop for a “National Moment of Remembrance,” a pause of prayer and thankfulness, Monday at 3:00 p.m. local time. We encourage you to join; pray for our country, veterans, and military team defending our nation.

Looking back to the time our forefathers fought for independence from England’s tyrannical rule (the Revolutionary War) up to the present day, many lives were lost. In all of the nation’s war involvements, 646,596 were killed in battle; 539,00 died in non-combat related causes. In the far past or even more recently, someone in your family likely laid down their lives for freedom. In 2018, 18 million Americans identified as veterans. The oldest are those who participated in World War II or the Korean War.

Memorial Day was initially named “Decoration Day .”In 1869, Major General John Logan established Decoration Day as a way for the nation to honor the graves of deceased soldiers with flowers. Eventually, state legislatures all over America passed proclamations naming May 30 as the Decoration Day holiday. In 1971, Congress declared Memorial Day a national holiday, assigning it to be held on the last Monday of May, honoring all Americans who have died in American wars.

The federal government declared Waterloo, New York, as the official birthplace of Memorial Day. It first celebrated the holiday on May 5, 1866; it hosted an annual community-wide event. Businesses closed, and the citizens decorated soldiers’ graves with flags and flowers.  

Many cities and towns across America host Memorial Day parades; some of the largest are in Chicago, New York, and Washington D.C. You can find many wonderful small towns across America holding parades to honor our military heroes also!

Here are some opportunities to be involved in special Memorial Day celebrations honoring our deceased service members:

The Museum of Flight offers

 a Memorial Day ceremony on Monday, May 30, at 11 a.m.

In Lacey Washington, “4 the Fallen” is sponsoring a 5k Run or Walk on May 28 in support of veterans. For more information, go to: eventbrite.com

The National Memorial Day Concert will be live-streamed on PBS, Sunday, May 28, at 8 p.m. ET. This concert will be extraordinary…..worth tuning in to!

This month of May is “National Military Appreciation Month.”

Please show your appreciation by taking a plate of homemade cookies or a pie to a Veteran, gifting them with a gift card, or writing a thank you letter to someone who serves in our military.

 For those no longer with us, remember and honor them on this Memorial Day:


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