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Memorial Day: Do Not Forget

I am so grateful that today is Memorial Day and I honor the fallen soldiers and those who actively served in the armed forces. Do you know the history of Memorial Day? I found this on Wikipedia:

Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday observed on the last Monday of May. Formerly known as Decoration Day, it commemorates U.S. Service Members who died while in the military service.[1] First enacted by formerly enslaved African-Americans [2] to honor Union soldiers of the American Civil War – it was extended after World War I to honor Americans who have died in all wars. Memorial Day often marks the start of the summer vacation season, and Labor Day its end. Begun as a ritual of remembrance and reconciliation after the Civil War, by the early 20th century, Memorial Day was an occasion for more general expressions of memory, as ordinary people visited the graves of their deceased relatives, whether they had served in the military or not. (

I had no idea that African-Americans first enacted Memorial Day; I clearly need to know my history! I will be reading up on this and looking for other sources to validate this claim (an academic through and through!). Both of my parents served in the Armed Forces and my father served in the Vietnam War. I am eternally grateful to the men and women who have or who are serving in the Armed Forces. Thank you for all that you do and all of the sacrifices that you make every day.

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