Vail Daily letter: Meaning of Memorial Day |

Vail Daily letter: Meaning of Memorial Day

On Monday, our country celebrates Memorial Day. It is not Flag Day. It is not Veterans Day. It is not Armed Forces Day. It is Memorial Day. Actually, it should be more of a commemoration than a holiday. Don’t thank me for my service. That sentiment is greatly appreciated on Veterans Day, but on Memorial Day all thoughts of thanks should be for those who gave their lives in defense of our freedom, so that we could enjoy the life that we have.

This day is their memorial. First observed on May 30 in 1868, this day was originally known as Decoration Day. On that date Gen. James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery that honored the sacrifice of those who had fallen during our bloody Civil War. That tradition persisted and every May 30 people would “decorate” the grave sites of those who had given their life in the service of their country in time of war. In 1971 Congress designated the day a national holiday to be observed on the last Monday in May.

During your holiday weekend try and find a few moments to reflect on the true meaning of Memorial Day and honor those who sacrificed all for us. They deserve it.

All gave some but some gave all.

Pete Thompson

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Commander, Minturn VFW Post 10721

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