Monday, May 25, is Memorial Day. On this holiday, we remember and honor the men and women of our armed forces who died serving our country.
“Decoration Day,” as it was first officially known in 1868, was set aside to decorate the graves of the Civil War fallen with flowers. Over 620,000 service members died during the four-year battle, more Americans than in any other war. Following World War I, the day became one to pay tribute to those who died in all wars.
In 2000, President Bill Clinton signed The National Moment of Remembrance Act. It asks the nation for a moment of silence and unity on Memorial Day, beginning at 3:00 p.m. local time, to honor the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice as part of our armed services.
This year, with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, many non-military Americans have learned much about sacrifice in the service of others. As many of us miss out on the traditional cheerful gatherings and events normally associated with this “unofficial start of the summer” holiday, perhaps we will be even more mindful of and thankful for the ultimate sacrifice offered by our fallen military men and women.