This national holiday is a signal that summer is upon us, school is out or almost out, it’s a long weekend for a short trip or outing, it is a time all kinds of sales, fishing, boating, what-have-you; a really free day to do what you want to. All good things for families and friends…but if that is what you do, do you miss something important?
Yes, the true purpose of Memorial Day is something else. It is a day to commemorate the deaths of those who have given their life for their country. As early day folks described it, “a day to visit the graves of those who lost their life for their country … to strew flowers and flags on behalf of the observance.”
The first Memorial Day was established in 1868 (on May 30) to remember those who died in the Civil War. This Memorial Day was joined together with the one observed in the south on April 26, thereby creating the national holiday weekend in 1968.
Whatever Memorial Day observed before, or the date, or by whom — it was day to pay tribute to those who have lost their lives. The time of 3 p.m. has been set aside as a time for a minute of silence and reverence for those we honor on Memorial Day.
I know what I will be doing on Memorial Day. I will be at the Veterans Park in Springfield with several hundred of your friends and neighbors recognizing the day and paying tribute to those who served us so faithfully and well, paying with their life.
Can I give you a personal invitation to join us at the Veterans Park on Monday at 6 p.m. for the short program held for the purpose of commemorating Memorial Day? I think that you will be glad you came for the program and gave a proper recognition of Memorial Day.