HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – This year, Memorial Day will be different. We won’t see as many gatherings because of the COVID-19 health crisis. And if events are held, we’ll be reminded to practice social distancing. Either way, we can still honor the memory of America’s fallen heroes.
Memorial Day weekend is usually the unofficial start to summer. People hit the road to go on vacation or stay home and grill burgers or hot dogs. But Memorial Day is more than just a day off from work and the end of a three-day holiday weekend. The day comes with a heavy price.
Memorial Day started as Decoration Day. Flowers, wreaths and flags decorated the graves of those who died in service to our country. The first was in 1868. The final resting place of more than 20 thousand civil war soldiers who fought and died for the union and confederacy were decorated in Arlington National Cemetery.
152 years later, a small American flag will be placed on the grave of each man and woman who made the ultimate sacrifice to our nation. They gave their life defending America. They died protecting and preserving the freedoms that we enjoy every day.
There are memorials across our country that serve as a fitting tribute to those who are no longer with us. We may not know their names or their faces, but they deserve a moment of our time.
On Memorial Day, we remember more than 1.2 million of our brothers and sisters who died bravely in U.S. wars and conflicts the past 244 years. From the American Revolution to the war in Afghanistan, we should take time to stop and remember, even it’s something as silently saying thank you for your service.
At the same time, let’s also remember the sacrifices their families have made as we continue to enjoy the freedoms their loved ones gave their lives to preserve.