Mark Gresham | 29 MAY 2023
Memorial Day is a special day of remembrance to honor and mourn the U.S. military personnel who fought and died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. As a nation, we in the United States officially observe it as a federal holiday today.
From 1868 to 1970, it was known as “Decoration Day,” observed on May 30. In 1971, Congress renamed it “Memorial Day” and changed its observance to the last Monday in May. Because of that date change, we typically observe an entire “Memorial Day Weekend” each year and treat it as the civic beginning of summer, even though summer solstice will not officially begin until June 21 this year.
Although taken from a Thanksgiving address, the following quote from the late President John F. Kennedy resonates deeply with the essence of Memorial Day:
It is worth bearing in mind, as we commemorate the service and sacrifices of our fallen soldiers in a spirit of national unity and gratitude, that our sincerest means of honoring them lies not in mere words but in a profound commitment to living by the values they fought to protect. ■